Customs and traditions
It can be difficult to put your finger on
what is characteristic of people living in Belize, where
four people groups live on a small area. But as in many
other Caribbean countries that liberated themselves from
Britain in the 1960s, a strong nationalist movement grew
in the years before. The Belizians share a pride in the
Jewel, which they call their homeland.
The nationalist movement was characterized by the
Mestis, and in urban areas in particular there is a
relatively visible ethnic hierarchy with Garifuna and
descendants of the Mayan people at the bottom.
Conversations among creoles and garífauna are often
accompanied by gestures and wide movements with arms and
hands. The fertilizers are a bit more reserved, but like
the people of other Central America, Belizians often use
their hands in conversations.
Overview of the capital city of Belize, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
People passing each other on the street greet with a
good day or good evening, depending on the time, or just
with a light head nod. At a first meeting, you greet
each other by taking care. People who know each other a
little better can also pat each other easily on the
shoulder or back. Good friends hug easily and give each
other a quick cheek kiss. Only close acquaintances greet
each other with first names.
Avoid staring at people. It is considered very rude.
Time is a relative concept. Do not expect meetings to
start at the appointed time, but rather everything from
a quarter to an hour later.
It is rarely expected, but it can be good to bring a
small gift, like something sweet to chew on, when you
are invited home to someone else. The host is expected
to serve something to drink. When you knock at someone's
home it often happens that you speak loudly to the
person you are looking for and do not step in until the
person has opened the door and come out.
Beans, corn, rice and various wheat dishes along with
chicken belong to the everyday food. At the coast,
creoles and garíuna populations eat a lot of fish, often
cooked or stewed in coconut milk. Tamales, corn
pulp cooked wrapped in banana leaves, are also common.
Among creoles, dinner is often called "tea".
Belize's clothing styles are as numerous as the
various peoples and immigrant groups, but in general
many dress up as in the United States, Europe and
Traditions and holidays
September is an important month in Belize. On
September 10, the commemoration of the Battle of Saint
George's Reef in 1798 is celebrated when carpenters and
black slaves resisted a Spanish invasion force. The
battle led to Spain giving up its demands on Belize.
When the fighting went on for a week, the memory of the
event is often celebrated for a whole week, but only on
September 10 is a free day.
Eleven days later, on September 21, Belize officially
celebrates Independence Day, which is why many people
take the opportunity to celebrate the release on several
occasions in September. It was not until September 21,
1981, that Belize became fully independent and therefore
September 10 long served as a national day.
On October 12, Christofer Columbus's arrival in
America is celebrated in America in 1492. Christmas and
New Year are celebrated in the American way on December
25 and December 31, respectively, with Christmas
decorations, Christmas presents, finer meals, parties
and fireworks. Local variations occur depending on the
traditions of the various ethnic groups.
Easter week is important and celebrated with
religious parades. International Labor Day May 1 is free
and often involves manifestations.