Día de la Raza in Belize in 2024

Día de la Raza in Belize in 2024
  How long until Día de la Raza?
Día de la Raza
  Dates of Día de la Raza in Belize
2025 Belize Mon, Oct 13 Public and Bank Holiday (in lieu)
2024 Belize Mon, Oct 14 Public and Bank Holiday
2023 Belize Mon, Oct 9 Public and Bank Holiday (in lieu)
2022 Belize Mon, Oct 10 Public and Bank Holiday (in lieu)
2021 Belize Mon, Oct 11 Public and Bank Holiday

Marks the arrival of Columbus in the Americas on October 12th 1492

Related holidays

When is Indigenous People’s Resistance Day?

This day is intended to acknowledge and recognize the survival, the struggle, and the resistance of indigenous people in Belize.

The day is observed on or around October 12th to mark the date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.

The date of Columbus' arrival in the Americas is also celebrated in Central and South America as the Día de la Raza ("day of the race"), commemorating the first encounters of Europe and Native Americans. It is a celebration of the diversity among Native Americans and Europeans.

Columbus' voyages across the Atlantic Ocean initiated the European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

While the first voyage in 1492 was immensely significant, Columbus did not actually reach the American mainland until his 3rd voyage in 1498. Instead, while trying to find a sea route to India, he made landfall on an island in the Bahamas that he named San Salvador.

He was also not the earliest European explorer to reach the Americas, with the indisputable evidence of Norsemen having reached the mainland of North America centuries before.

The Changing Name of this Holiday

In 2021, the Belize government changed the name of this holiday to Dia de la Raza. It had previously been known as Pan-American Day.

In November 2021, it turns out that the name Dia de la Raza was a result of miscommunication. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Ministries explains: “... it was some two weeks ago when the government press office had published the list of holidays and as I understand it it was because there was pressure coming from the printers who print the calendars for next year to have an idea of what the holidays were going to be. And so in that first list, it was erroneously placed as Dia de la Raza because like I mentioned no decision had been made in terms of the name itself. October 12th for many countries goes under different names and of course, has different meanings as you have rightly seen over the last two weeks. I know that there has been a lot of backlash because of that first publication and yesterday I am thankful that when I was present we were able to discuss the matter and all of Cabinet unanimously agreed that the proper name for October 12th should be Indigenous People’s Resistance Day to acknowledge and to recognize the survival, the struggle and the resistance of indigenous people in Belize, in particular, the Mayas.”

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