Good Friday In San Pedro, Belize: Squabbling over Liquor Laws & A Religious Procession
Good Friday in predominantly Catholic San Pedro (like in many places) is quite a solemn, religious holiday. It has historically been a day of church services and religious reflection and tends to clash a bit with the newer Easter tradition in San Pedro: hard-core partying.
All week we have seen some friction between the San Pedro town board and the San Pedro police department which is headed up by a new chief.
According to the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Acts of the country of Belize, Act 150: All licensed premises in which liquor is sold under a publican's general license (or malt liquor license) shall be closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday. But it also states that they shall be closed on Saturday at 11pm and re-opened Monday at 7am (a law San Pedro most certainly disregards).
Historically, the San Pedro Town Council has loosened these laws to account for the tourism industry in our town. Shops and supermarkets that sold alcohol were allowed to open all day as long as they didn't serve liquor. The new police chief had another plan. During the afternoon, the police truck and officers drove around San Pedro and shut down the shops that were open.
At 5pm, there was a religious procession through the streets of town. The few stores that were open shut down as the congregation walked through the streets dressed in black and purple.
There had to be about 1000 people.
They were followed by girls and women in white carrying the Virgin Mary dressed in black. The whole procession was quite moving.
Everyone have a fantastic Easter weekend...
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