Christmas in Belize
Belize is made up of at least 10 different ethnic groups, and so Christmas in Belize is a mixture of various different kinds of traditions as well. With all their differences and their mixings though, the constant is that of keeping friends and family close at Christmas time.
From the Spanish you see the Las Posadas tradition. Las Posadas is a ritual in which parades of people carry statues of Joseph and Mary from the local church to different houses where they ask for and are granted food and shelter for the evening. The people will pray together and leave the statues for the night. This is to reenact the story of Joseph and Mary seeking shelter in Bethlehem. The ceremony is repeated at a different home each night until Christmas Eve, when Joseph and Mary make their way back to the church for the Dance of the Pastores, a performance symbolizing the shepherds bringing gifts to Jesus after his birth.
The Maya put on “The Deer Dance” to portray the relationship between humanity and nature.
Garifuna (West African descent)
The Garifuna enact the Charikanari, a masquerade symbolizing the relationship between the hunter and the deer. And the Joncunu, a Christmas dance historically in celebration of time for families to be together and also a chance to make fun of their European sovereigns.
Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, is celebrated in Belize with dancing, singing, and drum playing in the streets. People of all ages gather to Waltz and Foxtrot when a Grand Ball is held on Christmas and New Years Eve.
Elaborate Christmas Meals
Traditional Christmas foods include Creole (Island French) rice and beans, potato salad, black fruitcake, white relleno (a soup with pork-stuffed chicken and raisins), pebre (roasted pork and gravy) and tamales. Rumpopo, the well-known Belizean version of eggnog, is also a favorite at Christmas.
Have you been to Belize during the Christmas holidays? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Please share!
- Belize’s flag and map to color
- Belize rain forest to color (and find all the animals)
- Creole black beans and rice crock pot recipe
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