Christmas in Belize is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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Belize is a popular destination for tourists around Christmas time, and it’s a big time for the locals too. Everyone celebrates Christmas Eve and Day with great enthusiasm.
There are many Christmas parades this time of year throughout the country. Santa Claus is likely to be present distributing candy to children in the crowd. Some parades include junkanu dancers who dress up in masks and feathered costumes as they pass through the streets on 25 and 26 December.
There are also “boat parades” in Placencia and Ambergris which feature hundreds of decked-out “Christmas boats” floating by the watching crowds. Horse racing is also a major pastime in Belize at Christmas time and all year long, in fact. Boxing Day, the day after Christmas is the big race day.
Finally, there are posada pilgrims who re-enact the supposed nine-day of search of the Holy Family for a place to stay before lodging in the stable. They go door to door asking for gifts of food and a place to stay for the night.
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