The citizens of Belize hold the month of September in a special place in their hearts. It is a month of patriotism and celebration to honour The Battle of St. George’s Caye and Belize’s Independence. Every year the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) along with the various district city and town councils plan month long events and exercises for all to enjoy. However, before September even begins there are competitions held to choose both a patriotic theme and song that will be featured at all official events taking place across the country. This year’s theme was “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal- Celebrating BELIZE!” by Emogeen Young Ramclam of Lord’s Bank Village. The song competition had three winners in three different categories. Shannon Martinez won 1st place in the Carnival Song category with her entry named “Freedom”, Nello Player won 1st place in the Patriotic Song category with “Celebrating Belize” and Tara Gill won 1st place in the Junior Song category with “Belize Dah Mi Country”. Here is a link to listen to all the songs entered in this year’s competition via : http://www.mynationalsong.bz/
A Queen of the celebrations must also be chosen and contestants hailing from all over the country vied for Queen of The Bay 2012 with Yadira Argueta of Stann Creek District being crowned.
The celebrations kicked off on September 2nd 2012 with the Official September Celebrations launch ceremony and the St. George’s Caye Battle Regatta held at beautiful St. George’s Caye twenty minutes away from Belize City’s coast. From there it was on to the Carnival Jouvert on September 8th where a mix of youths and adults painted themselves with mud and chocolate and danced through the streets of Belize City to prepare for the Carnival held later in the day.
The Belize City Carnival Road March draws a huge crowd every year and this year did not disappoint. Numerous groups of masqueraders entered the road march but there was only one winner with Mahogany Masqueraders taking home the top prize.
On the 10th of September Belize celebrated the Battle of St. George’s Caye, this year being the 214th anniversary. English woodcutters who called themselves Baymen, aided by black slaves fought against Spanish Invaders trying to stake a claim to the land on behalf of Spain. The attempted invasion by the Spaniards was finally foiled by the Baymen on September 10th 1798. In modern times, the battle is celebrated with an official ceremony held at the Memorial Park followed by a citizen’s parade through the streets of Belize City.
On September 21st, Belize celebrated its Independence. This was achieved by Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, known as the father of the nation. Throughout his early life he fought valiantly for the independence of Belize from British rule which was finally realized on September 21st 1981. George Price died on September 19th 2011 at the age of 92. This year and for years to come, September 19th will be known as National Service Day in memory of George Price.
September 21st is the most important day of celebrations; It is the day Belize became an Independent country. It is a day every citizen demonstrates patriotism and declare proudly that we are Belizeans! The day started off with a fireworks display in almost every district at 12:00 AM.
Later in the morning, ceremonies were held in Belize and Belmopan cities to commemorate the event. Following the ceremony in Belize City a Uniform Parade was held through the streets of the City. High school students along with various youth groups marched in celebration of our independence. See more pics here http://bit.ly/Ryllwp
September is a special month in the country of Belize. Belizeans everywhere, whether at home or abroad patriotically proclaim their heritage and join in the celebrations. We are proud Belizeans!