Easter Weekend in Placencia: What Is It Like?

by Megan Rodden

Easter in Belize

Traditionally considered a Catholic country with nearly 80% of the population claiming Christianity as their religion, the Easter holidays in Belize constitute the longest public and bank holidays. Schools break for the entire week and most public and private offices close at midday on Holy Thursday and remain shuttered through Easter Monday. The sale of alcohol has historically been prohibited on Good Friday and many communities across the country use this time for somber reflection, religious ceremonies, and quiet family reunions. But in other destinations, such as San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and, yes, Placencia too, the holiday weekend is an excuse to throw the wildest parties of the year.

A brand-new amendment to the country’s liquor laws now allows bars, restaurants and shops to be open and serving on Good Friday as well, so expect the celebrations to begin a day earlier than usual. Wall-to-wall, scantily clad and enthusiastic revelers line the beaches and pack the bars for the festivities, transforming the typically sedate village of Placencia into a mini Cancun.

A Weekend-long Beach Bash

Spring break mayhem ensues, albeit on a small scale, but participants and onlookers have big fun.

The daytime diversions are mainly family-oriented; up and down the coast you’ll find barbeques on the beach, swimming in the sea, and egg hunts in the sand. After a day of fun in the sun, the children head off to bed and the rum really starts flowing, with the carousing crowds typically consolidating themselves in (and around, because the overflowing masses spill out onto the beach) Tipsy Tuna and Barefoot Beach Bar.

Photo by Kevin Quischan Photography

Exuberant DJs pump the crowds and play Soca hits at a decibel just below ear-shattering. Bodies gyrate to the thumping bass that shakes even the surrounding palm trees. The Easter Weekend Bash in Placencia is a see-and-be-seen type of event with families from all parts of the country flocking to the coast for a good time. Everyone is dressed to impress and ready to mix and mingle. It is a time to let loose and wine that waistline. Beer drinking competitions and Mr. Physique contests have been highlights of previous celebrations, but the throngs of party people really go nuts for the fervid and frequent dance-offs. Belizeans take their dancing quite seriously and will literally swing from the rafters if that’s what it takes to win. Spectating is a sport in and of itself during Easter Weekend.

A Unique Experience that Only Happens Once A Year

Photo by Kevin Quischan Photography

Whether you come to join the ardent army of partiers or simply to watch from a distance, Placencia’s Easter beach bash is a lively and uncommon occurrence that many residents of the typically laidback village are happy only happens once a year.

If the wet and wild party in town isn’t your cup of tea, you can always escape the crowds and head north to the quieter resorts and neighborhoods of Maya Beach.

The many varieties of mango trees that populate the peninsula will be heavy with fruit in the month of April so expect to see this seasonal addition to menus at many local restaurants. Easter Sunday Brunch is becoming a new tasty tradition. One of the peninsula’s most popular eateries, The Maya Beach Bistro, pulls out all the stops for their brunch. It’s a worthy indulgence, and it’s certain to replace the calorie deficit you may be suffering after so many hours of dancing on the beach.

Join in on the fun of Easter in Placencia and witness the transformation of the usually low-key hamlet into the host for the biggest beach bash of the year.

Featured Photo by Carolee Chanona

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