Since Belize is a Tropical Country, our weather is much the same all year round – used to be the wet or dry – but since Global Warming, not anymore. So our seasons have very different markers, not dependent on weather.
Our year-round cultural events, wildlife, fishing seasons, sporting events, regattas, migrant, birds, music, and fruit festivals, art, dance, and music – all contribute to a definite seasonal ambiance and sense of celebration.
Mid-December – March
Generally, though, from mid-December through March temperature and humidity drop and the weather becomes mild, tempered by cool breezes. At this time there is a profession of “Snow Birds” of every size and color singing gloriously even in the city.
The year begins with both Cycling and Horse Races on New Year’s Day, both North and South in Corozal and Burrell Boom.
In mid-February, there is the annual Belize Tourism Industry Association’s Sidewalk Festival in Placencia – a venue for displaying and selling local art of our talented Belizean artists.
San Pedro hosts a pre-lenten carnival, and in late February, Orange Walk sponsors its Sugar City Rum Festival.
March brings “La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge” in large canoes a rowing competition starting in San Ignacio on the Belize River and finishing on the Barks of the river in Belize City.
April – July
As “Semana Santa” approaches, there is much preparation in Benque Viejo del Carmen in the Cayo District for the live re-enactment of the Passion of Christ. On Holy Saturday, there is much excitement surrounding the Cross-Country Cycling Classic. Easter Monday, Horse Races are held at the Burrell Boom Fair as well as Canoe Race at the Sittee River Village Fair.
May opens with the established National Agriculture and Trade Show in the capital city of Belmopan. In mid-May, Crooked Tree Village in the Belize District holds its annual Cashew Festival offering nuts, wine, and exotic confectionary. Another must-do is the Punta Gorda Belize Chocolate Festival with Music, Dancing, and much tasting of chocolate of every variety. In San Pedro, there is a week reserved as Northern Belize Reef Week focusing on our fabulous Barrier Reef. In the Corozal District, an East Indian Festival is celebrated featuring dance, costumes, and, of course, exotic food. This is also the month of the Belize Game Fish Association Tournament.
June is the peak of the luscious Mango Season, which opens with a two-day Mango Festival in the seaside village of Hopkins in the Stann Creek District. This also coincides with the opening of Lobster Season when there is feasting at Lobster Fests in the North on San Pedro as well as in the South in Stann Creek.
July brings a “Fiesta” in Benque– an eclectic fair in Benque Viejo del Carmen, the Stann Creek Lion Fish Festival as well as a Business/Fiesta in Orange Walk.
August – December
In August, San Pedro features another tournament, the Tres Pescados Grand Slam as well as the Gran Caribe Belize Deep Sea Classic. The International Costa Maya Festival brings together participation of Beauty Queens and entertainment from all the neighboring Central American countries and, of course, Mexico.
September is a festive, patriotic month as we celebrate our Independence on September 21st. Throughout the country, there is a kind of electricity surrounding Carnival, Music Festivals, Parades, Road Marches, Tourism Expo, the Yamaha Saltwater Fishing Tournament, a Belize Marketplace Expo, and the crowning of the Queen of the Bay, and Miss Belize Pageant.
October brings more Fishing Tournaments and in San Ignacio – The Belize Birding Festival, attracting bird – watchers from all over the world.
The highlight of November is the celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day which commemorates the arrival of the Garifuna people to the Southern shores. Festivities last three days with the Battle of the Drums. There is also a live re-enactment of the boats arriving held with the participation if the people of Dangriga, Hopkins Village, and Punta Gorda.
Belize City hosts an International Film Festival for three days at various venues throughout the city. In the North, Orange Walk features its delectable Taco Festival.
December brings a bustling festive feel. Christmas is coming, and there is many house cleaning, furniture polishing, baking, eating, drinking, and decorating. Ambergris Caye features a beautiful Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. School is our and families host parties, go to Church and choirs sing Christmas music.
Written by: Nelita Castillo