Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ambergris Caye gears up for Dia de San Pedro Weekend!

Visitors enjoying Belize in late June can participate in Dia de San Pedro, a three day celebration for Saint Peter, the patron saint of San Pedro Town in Ambergris Caye, the largest island off the coast of Belize. Dia de San Pedro is observed on June 27th. Festivities include an early morning boat parade, processions, educational workshops and lectures on the island history, special church masses, blessings of the fleet and local fishermen, dances, special concerts and a fiesta/jump up.
Dia de San Pedro or Saint Peter’s Day is one of San Pedro’s oldest traditions. June 29 has been a festive day for as far back as the early 1900’s. To celebrate it then, the great Mestizadas were held for up to 5 days, all in honor of the Patron, Saint Peter.
In 1848, when the Mestizos settled in this village, the island was named after St. Peter, the disciple of Jesus who was a fisherman. Most people in San Pedro have always been fishermen, thus the great devotion to the fisherman patron.
The Mestizadas took on a Mexican flavor which we inherited from the Mestizo immigrants to San Pedro. It included dances, prayers, food and revelry.
Civic minded citizens of San Pedro have managed to keep the tradition alive and the celebrations continue every year bigger and better. The Town Council along with a committee of religious faithfuls are the main organizers of the festivities. The program this year calls for opening ceremonies on Friday, June 26, will include formal speeches by the Mayor followed by cultural dances. To add something new to the weekend’s activities, the Town Council is pleased to announce the first ever Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition.

Stay tuned, we'll keep you updated as the weekend progresses!

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