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Celebrating Garifuna Settlement Day

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What about Garifuna Settlement Day?

Garifuna Settlement DayThe most important day in the Garifuna calender is November 19. On this day, Garifuna Settlement Day, the arrival of the first Garinagu to Belize by dory (dug-out canoe) is celebrated in all Garifuna communities in the country.

Garifuna Settlement Day is celebrated for a whole week including parades, live music, drumming, dancing, prayers, Garifuna mass and election of Miss Garifuna take place to mark the anniversary. In communities like Dangriga and Punta Gorda, a dory symbolizing the arrival of the first Garinagu, is floating to shore around early morning dawn while local Garinagu – the women dressed in their colourful costumes – tourists and other interested persons await the arrival onshore.

Since 1943 November 19th has been a public holiday in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts called Garifuna Settlement Day. From 1977 November 19th has been a county wide public holiday.

Learn more about the Garinagu culture here.

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