Thursday, July 25, 2024

Activities announced for Garifuna Settlement Day in San Pedro


The island Garifuna community has prepared a program listing the celebrations regarding this year’s Garifuna Settlement Day. The activities started on Tuesday, November 15th, with drumming sessions at the central park and will span through the 19th, when the Garifuna Settlement Day, a public and bank holiday, will be observed across the country.
The San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council announced the island activities on Tuesday. Drumming sessions will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7PM. The San Pedro Branch president Eden Velasquez said that Thursday is Garifuna awareness. She invited everyone in the community to wear something representing the Garifuna culture regardless of their background. The most popular items are the colorful Dashikis or Garifuna tops.
The night activities will then move to Boca del Rio Beach Park. On Friday, November 18th, a cultural event at the said beach park will include traditional dances and other presentations. The Friday celebration traditionally lasts until the morning, when on Saturday the 19th, the official Yurumein, which is a reenactment of the arrival of the Garifuna to Belize, will take place early in the morning (6AM) on the beach at Central Park. Afterward, there will be a parade through the streets of San Pedro Town and a cultural mass at the Catholic Church, which everyone is invited to attend. The day festivities will continue at Boca del Rio, with a closing event on Sunday, November 20th.
The Garifuna people arrived in Belize in 1832 after they left their native St. Vincent in the Caribbean. The Garifuna cultural contribution to Belize is well appreciated, and since 1977, under the leadership of the late Premier George Price, November 19th has been a public and bank holiday. The San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council in San Pedro thanked everyone for supporting the activities this year, particularly the San Pedro Town Council and Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez.

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