Independence Day in Belize in 2020

Independence Day in Belize in 2020
  How long until Independence Day?
This holiday next takes place in 309 days.
  Dates of Independence Day in Belize
2021 Belize Tue, Sep 21 Public and Bank Holiday
2020 Belize Mon, Sep 21 Public and Bank Holiday
2019 Sep 21, Sep 23
BelizeMon, Sep 23Public and Bank Holiday (in lieu)
BelizeSat, Sep 21Public and Bank Holiday
2018 Belize Fri, Sep 21 Public and Bank Holiday
2017 Belize Thu, Sep 21 Public and Bank Holiday
  Summary
Commemorates Independence from the United Kingdom in 1981

When is Belize Independence Day?

Independence Day is a public holiday in Belize on September 21st each year. If the holiday falls on a weekend, the following Monday is observed as a bank and public holiday.

This holiday marks Belize being granted independence from Britain on this day in 1981.

Unlike most countries who observe an Independence Day, this is not the National Day of Belize.

History of Belize Independence Day

European contact began in 1502 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the Gulf of Honduras. From the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors explored the region, but never establish any permanent settlements due to the lack of natural resources and the hostile Indian tribes.

The first Europeans to put down roots were British sailors; either shipwreck survivors or in some cases, pirates.

This British presence caught the attention of the Spanish who had control of most of the surrounding regions. Whenever a war started between the Spanish and English - a pretty common occurrence in the 18th century - that was the signal for the Spanish to have a go at ousting the British.

It wasn't until the Battle of St. George's Caye in September 1798, that the Spanish finally gave up its territorial intentions

It became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, and Britain formally declared the settlement a British Crown Colony, subordinate to Jamaica in 1862.

Under a new constitution, Britain granted British Honduras self-government in 1964. On June 1st 1973, British Honduras was officially renamed Belize. 

Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981, though British troops remained in Belize as Guatemala was claiming sovereignty over the southern part of Belize. Though the dispute continues, the threat of military action seems remote and the last British forces left the country in 2011. 

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