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 has contributed writing and photography to CNN Travel, New York Magazine, AFAR, American Way, Travel Channel, BBC Travel, and others. She’s the currrent author of MOON BELIZE for Moon Travel Guides and is completing a second title, MOON BELIZE CAYES. Lily is also AFAR's Jamaica Expert, and author of the AFAR Jamaica Country Guide. A serial expat, she's lived and studied on three continents, including Africa–from her native Ethiopia to Côte d'Ivoire–and Europe, and is fluent in four languages. A former attorney who ditched the office for the road in 2009, she favors all things culture, adventure and storytelling, and escapes Washington DC’s winters every year.

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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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