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.

Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning travel journalist, photographer, and guidebook author specializing in the Caribbean region. Her work has been published in major travel publications, including CNN, AFAR, Delta Sky, Lonely Planet, Shermans Travel, and BBC, among others. A self-professed "culture-holic," Lily left her native Ethiopia at age one, fast developing a passion for the expat Caribbean life. In 2008, she ditched her US corporate law career for the road and created Sunshine and Stilettos—a travel photography blog showcasing authentic ways to experience the Caribbean, through culture and nature. Lily has since partnered with Caribbean tourism boards and travel brands on major content projects. She also authors print guidebooks on three destinations, including Belize, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Read more on her site,

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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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