2015 marks our 217th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye as well as our 34th Anniversary of Belize’s Independence. As proud Belizeans we look forward to the festivities associated with honoring our freedom. Of those festivities the main one we look forward to is carnival which usually occurs around the tenth of September.
The true meaning of carnival is the celebration of life. Carnival is a time of revelry, where there’s an explosive display of color, music, and creativity! The King and Queen Competition is an essential part of celebrating carnival in Belize. It’s an opportunity for mass groups to demonstrate the hard work and creativity they’ve placed into making their costumes that usually display what our country means. These costumes vary from a display of our national symbols, what transpired during the Battle of St. George’s Caye, the story of our Independence and so much more!
During the late 1700s, our country was under Spanish rule. At the time, Spain allowed British settlers into the area to cut logwood. The British wanted more, but Spain refused, so it led to a battle on the 10th of September, on St. George’s Caye. The British won which principally led to their rule of the country. The British held control over the country until it was granted self-governance in 1964. Thereafter, it was renamed Belize from British Honduras in 1973. It was on September 21st 1981 when Belize gained its independence.
Independence means your right to freedom! If the British didn’t fight during the Battle of St. George’s Caye and won, we wouldn’t have had the chance to gain our independence. That is why those who participate in carnival try to integrate as much of our history into the event as a tribute and respect to our forefathers who helped us get to where we are today. In this regard, we celebrate our nationality by being patriotic as we parade waving our flags through the streets draped in the colors that we have given meaning to; the red showcasing our hardiness, bravery, strength and valor, the blue showcasing vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance and justice.
For visitors, it is the best time to see our national cultures on display!