Garifuna Settlement Day

Last updated
Garifuna Settlement Day
Observed by Belize
Date 19 November
Next time19 November 2020 (2020-11-19)

Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize, celebrated each year on November 19. [lower-alpha 1] The holiday was created by Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, in 1941. [1] It was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977. [1] The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. [2] The major festivities for the holiday occur in the town of Dangriga, including parades, street music, and traditional dancing. [3]


Why Garifuna Settlement day is important

The Garifuna represent part of the African diaspora that has been forgotten. Especially within the last generation. The Garifuna are now more spread apart than they have ever been. Occupying parts of the United States which include Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, New York, and most recently Toronto, Canada. Like any diaspora, the Garifuna are faced with burden of maintaining their culture while occupying spaces that are different than their homeland. The Garifuna specifically, have faced a long history of discrimination from different groups. For example, their existence in Central America lies only in the fact that they were exiled from the Grenedias by the French. In British Honduras (later known as Belize), the British referred to them as savages and looked down on them because of their religious practices. After Belize gained its independence, the Garifuna continued to suffer from colorism and discrimination from their brothers and sisters of Kriol descent. Today, Garifuna Settlement day is celebrated with lavish celebrations in Central America, America, and Canada. With the revolution of technology, their celebrations have been televised, and streamed online. Every year, new videos are posted on YouTube and Facebook, documenting the festivities. Garifuna Settlement Day is important because it honors an overlooked group of people that have stood against the tests of genocide, discrimination, assimilation, disease, and a dying language.

See also


  1. Chapter 289 of the laws of Belize states that if the holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is observed as the bank and public holiday.

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  1. 1 2 Avila, Tomas Alberto; Jose Francisco Avila (2008). Garifuna World. Milenio Associates. pp. 362, 423, 426. ISBN   1928810020.
  2. "Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrated". San Pedro Sun. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  3. Greenspan, Eliot (2011). Frommer's Belize (4th ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing. pp. 36–37. ISBN   0470887702.