Posted: Monday, August 20, 2018. 2:48 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The San Joaquin Fiesta is one of the prized manifestations of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Belize.
Its celebration highlights the community history of San Joaquin village, Corozal and features both a religious and social component.
The fiesta celebrates the patron saint of the community, San Joaquin, and the village’s origins which are strongly tied to the Caste War.
San Joaquin village was established in the 1850s by refugees escaping the war. Their safe journey from Mexico to Belize was attributed to Saint San Joaquin.
The San Joaquin Fiesta includes a torch run from Bacalar to San Joaquin, novenas, a mass, and culminates with a grand fair.
During the fiesta, persons from all over Belize make a pilgrimage to the San Joaquin Catholic Church where they visit the saint to offer adoration.
The Fiesta also features traditional dances, music, and food.
Today, the San Joaquin Fiesta has grown into one of the biggest fiestas in Belize.
The 52nd celebration of the fiesta was held this year from August 16 to 19.
On Friday, August 17, the Institute for Social and Cultural Research launched the fourth volume of its Belize Cultural Celebrations series featuring the San Joaquin Fiesta at the San Joaquin park.
Previous volumes in the series include Yurumein, Carnaval, and the Christmas Bram.
This short educational video documentary includes interviews with community members, the fiesta committee, church members and local experts who share the fiesta’s history and meaning.
The video was aligned with the actions set out in the Banquitas Action for the Safeguarding of Belize’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (2013).
Funding for this project and development of this video was provided through UNESCO, the Japanese Funds-in-Trust, the National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize Tourism Board.
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