Calendar of events for Garifuna Settlement Day
Leading up to the Garifuna Settlement Day, celebrated annually on November 19th, the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council has prepared and released their calendar of events. The different activities are organized in collaboration with the local authorities via the San Pedro Cultural Committee. This year, the national celebrations are being held under the theme ‘Lawanserun Garifunaduau: Hadasi Sun Garinagu! – Garifuna Progress: A Task For All Garinagu!’
The activities with Culture Sundays on November 4th and 11th, with a traditional Garifuna food, drumming, and live entertainment starting at 1PM in the Central Park in downtown San Pedro. On Saturday, November 10th there will also be a fashion show showcasing the traditional clothing of the Garifuna culture.
November 12th through to the 16th is Cultural Awareness Week, and events include presentations at the various island schools. Students are asked to participate in Cultural Dress every Friday until November 19th, by wearing yellow, black and white outfits, which are the traditional Garifuna colours. This year, there will also be a Garifuna Translation Competition among students of various primary schools of the island at the Lions Den on Friday, November 16th.
On Sunday, November 18th the official celebrations to commemorate the 185th anniversary of the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize will start from 8PM. There will be live cultural presentations, music and of course drumming all night long to bring in the 19th. On Monday, November 19th the festivities will commence with the official Yurumein which is a reenactment of the arrival of the Garifuna to Belize, followed by a parade through the streets of San Pedro Town. Everyone is then invited to the Central Park where there will also be lots of food and live music all day long.
The Garifuna people arrived in Belize in 1832 after they left their native St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Their cultural contribution to Belize has been so positive that in 1977, under the leadership of the late Premier George Price, November 19th was officially declared a public and bank holiday. The National Garifuna Council, along with The San Pedro Town Council and the Cultural Committee on the island wishes everyone a Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!