Easter Traditions in Belize

by McNab Editorial Team
benque easter

Easter 2020 will look, without a doubt, different. Regardless, nature continues on. Belize’s typical Easter weather boasts clear, sunny skies and a cool, calm breeze. Flowers spring on, while chirping birds sing on. And while we may not get to enjoy a traditional Easter this year, let’s reflect on a few of the typical activities. 

Events in Easter

A typical Easter Celebration includes events like a religious ‘Re-Enactment of the Cross’, the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Race, and even a Burrel Boom horse race. Easter is celebrated for four days, starting on Good Friday and ending on Holy Monday. 

Good Friday

With a largely Christian population in Belize, many believe they can’t go swimming on Good Friday in fear of turning into a mermaid. Nevertheless, a majority of the population would stay home with their families in reverence or go on a road trip. It is also custom to prohibit work on Good Friday. However in the West, Benque Viejo prepares for their traditional re-enactment of the stations of the Cross. This town transforms into a beautiful celebration as they decorate the streets with colorful sawdust carpets. These carpets are created to greet the religious procession during the stations of the Cross. Belize ultimately respects this holiday by not selling any alcoholic beverage. This is done out of respect, allowing for a more peaceful day. Most Belizeans go pescatarian on this day, and bake Hot Cross Buns in remembrance. 

Holy Saturday

Additionally, Holy Saturday also marks one of the biggest days in cycling with the Cross Country Race. Cyclists from all over the country come together to compete for the ultimate trophy. The cycling race is approximately 140 miles, starting from Belize City. Cyclists will travel across the country in breadth, to San Ignacio, before returning to finish in Belize City.  On this day, bystanders line the highways to cheer and support the cyclists. 

Easter Sunday

Churches all over the country are filled with Christians as they celebrate Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, and His resurrection. After the service, many families would come together to share meals and have a great time together. This is also noted as a peaceful day in Belize.

Easter Monday

Typically, the end of the ‘long Easter weekend’. There are still a few activities here and there, but in Burrel Boom, they celebrate by hosting a Horse Race. Many Belizeans, and even tourists, travel to cheer on their favorite horse, socialize with others, and enjoy a signature plate of fire-hearth Belizean cuisine. 

While some of these Easter activities may not be right for everyone, most Belizeans typically use the weekend to relax near the sea or river. 

Written by CC+L Editorial Team

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