Belizean Holidays Christmas time in Belize is particularly merry. Like everywhere else, people are buzzing by, last minute shopping , making home repairs and Christmas cleaning. Kitchens are the popular hang out spot in every home. A given as there’s the Christmas turkey and ham, your favorite tia’s pork tamales, and delicious Rum Popo to look forward to. The staff parties and parades are fun, the fresh chill in the air is nice too. A noteworthy holiday treat you can miss, however, are the Jankunu dancers that come by to perform as you watch from your porch or verandah.

When the Garinagu came to Belizean shores in 1802 they brought with them their ancestral traditions and customs that would contribute great cultural wealth to Belizean culture. The music and dance of the Garifuna relies heavily on call and response patterns. Vibrant and soulful, the beat of their drums almost seems to sync with the beating of the listener’s heart. “John Canoe” or Jankunu, which typically refers to a dance meant to make fun of the image of colonial slave masters, is known to the Garifuna diaspora as Wanaragua. Further, this dance is more than just satirical expression. In fact, the Wanaragua is a dance representative of the struggle between good and evil. Typically performed during the holiday season it is a tradition that is cherished by all Belizeans.

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