By Naturalight Productions, Ltd.
NB: Click on image to see gallery.
On September 21st, the country of Belize celebrated the 24th anniversary of its Independence from Great Britain or her 24th birthday. And even in the midst of controversial local politics, rising fuel prices, catastrophic natural disasters and Middle East conflicts, there was a birthday party. Hey, The Sultan of Oman cabled birthday greetings to the Governor General of Belize. It said so in the Times of Oman.
|Click image below for gallery|
The month of September carries a number of historic events culminating with ceremonies and parades on the 21st.
This year we decided to celebrate at the birthday party in Orange Walk in northern Belize where their Carnival groups are populated primarily by young people. The costumes were magnificent and brilliantly colored, the music lively and inviting and this year's birthday day theme well illustrated:
- The 10th of September commemorates the historic Battle of St. George's Caye when in 1798 the British and their slaves fought back the Spaniards, lending credence to their "squatter's claim" on the tiny area in the Spanish territory of Central America. This area was to become British Honduras and later Belize.
- On the 2nd Saturday of the month, the more recent advent of Belize City Carnival entices hundreds of brightly costumed street revelers with the attendant King and Queen of Carnival. (This year a minor conflict arose between organizers of the "traditional and the new" because Carnival day happened to fall on the 10th of September. In the end the people didn't seem to mind.)
- Somewhere in between there are military and police tattoos, fireworks and flag raisings.
- On September 19th a special joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate was held at which time the Prime Minister gave the annual State of Nation address. (They always seem to be upbeat and full of accomplishments.)
- On the 20th, primary schools parade through the streets in anticipation of the fruit drinks and treats that await them. And finally on the 21st the secondary and tertiary schools with majorettes and bands and floats decorated and sponsored by businesses lead the way through the streets of most towns being trailed by huge trucks carrying live bands or a sound system with gigantic speakers and throngs of glistening, gyrating birthday celebrants.
"Diverse people, diverse views,
One goal - betterment for all"
A good time was seen to be had by all. See for yourself... click here for gallery.
Special Thanks To:Orange Walk September Celebrations Committee
Images Courtesy of:
Tony Rath Photography