Garifuna Settlement DayGarifuna Settlement Day celebrates the arrival of the first Garinagu on Belizean shores back in the 1800s. All-night parties leading up to the November 19 holiday take place around the country, along with cultural reenactment ceremonies. Garifuna villages like Dangriga, Hopkins, and Punta Gorda really come alive during Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. The spiritual home of Garifuna is Dangriga—and the ideal spot if you want to experience Belize's biggest celebration.
The reenactment ceremony takes place very early on November 19, with Garinagu arriving to shore on a dory, or dugout canoe. Garifuna women line the shores in bright costumes while traditional drummers welcome the boats in.
Look for the colors of the Garifuna flag—yellow (sun), white (peace), and black (color of their people). There are parades, singing, drumming, prayers, food, and more, usually for an entire week.
In 2001, UNESCO recognized the importance of Garifuna culture and declared it a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity,” encouraging education and its preservation.
AFAR Local Expert
almost 8 years ago
Eat Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce
When I first started visiting Belize and saw friends adding Marie Sharp’s hot sauce to nearly every dish, I thought they were crazy. Aside from not handling spicy foods well, I couldn’t imagine putting hot sauce on everything. Like everyone else here, I ultimately fell under Marie Sharp’s spell and maintain a constant supply for when I am traveling outside of Belize. And yes, I now put it on everything – eggs, pasta, sandwiches, rice and beans, and even Asian dumplings. Ranging from mild to Beware, there is a version to suit everyone’s palates. And Marie Sharp’s is a real Belize success story. Marie Sharp started off making her sauces just for friends and developed such a following, she now has a factory near Dangriga. Her product line includes sauces and jellies/jams as well with some products being exported as far as Asia now.