Belize Independence Fever: Happy 30th Independence, Belize!

Okay, Belize’s 30th Independence celebrations were on the 21st but I needed a whole 24 hours to recover from the festivities!

It started on the eve of the 21st with an amazingly creative September Spectacle skit and dances, followed by a Flag-raising ceremony at midnight and fireworks over the water across from Memorial Park in Belize City, and more live music.

On the day of Independence, we headed to Belmopan in the early morning – Belize’s capital city – for the official Independence Day ceremonies, and later drove to Orange Walk – north of Belize – for Carnival. Orange Walk celebrates their Carnival on Independence Day every year, and it’s known as the most festive and colorful in Belize. Belizeans drive from all over the country to attend.

The past two days were filled with folks in reds and blues, laughing, celebrating, dancing…and drinking lots of rum and Belikins. I have to say, I loved the free mixed drinks that were being given away at Orange Walk Carnival from the rum trucks (if you were lucky you’d get a free rum bottle too -guess who got lucky?!)

I feel lucky to have been here during such a festive time, and capturing it all has been a real treat.

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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning, Ethiopian-American travel writer, photographer and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Moon Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic (October 2016). Her work focuses on Caribbean culture and adventure, and has been published in AFAR, CNN Travel, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Every Day With Rachael Ray, among many others. Lily is also the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism for her Caribbean coverage, from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–she speaks four languages fluently and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and traveled to some 30+ countries around the world. Last but not least, she is a former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a storyteller. Lily holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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  1. Julie 25 September, 2011 at 6:06 PM #

    Lovely! I especially like the first photo.

  2. Lebawit Lily Girma 25 September, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

    Thanks, Julie! My favorite as well…

  3. Denese Enriquez 27 September, 2011 at 2:59 PM #

    You’ve truly captured the spirit of our september celebration through your lense, Lily. These are amazingly beautiful. Thank you!!!

  4. Lebawit Lily Girma 27 September, 2011 at 10:12 PM #

    Thank you Denese!! 🙂

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  1. By Top 20 Highlights of My Trip to Belize on 8 October, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    […] Attending the flag-raising ceremony and fireworks at midnight on the 21st of September for Belize’s 30th Anniversary of Independence from Great […]

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