Every year on November 19, Garifuna Settlement Day marks the arrival in 1802 of the Garifuna people to the territory which is present-day Belize. The week-long celebration is full of parades, live music, drumming, dancing, prayers and pageantry in Garifuna communities, all re-creating the actual arrival of this vibrant culture to Belize
For hundreds of years prior, the Garifuna people had lived under a period of near constant exodus, moving from one region to another to avoid colonialism and other conquering peoples. During this time they also voluntarily assimilated with other ethic communities which has resulted in a rich and vibrant culture.
In 2001, UNESCO recognized the Garifuna language, music and dance as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, which means that it is a important culture that should be preserved, promoted and celebrated.