Best time to go to Belize

Deer Dance 2024

An authentic and unique Maya ritual

Dates: late March, early August (unconfirmed)

Deer Dance is one of the main elements of Maya culture that has been preserved through time. The ancient ritual that imitates the deer hunt is an authentic Belizean experience, which can be seen during several Maya festivities in the southern Toledo district. In early August, the Maya village of San Antonio hosts Deer Dance Festival. Music and traditional dance performances are followed by a greased pole climbing competition. In late March, the nearby villages of Santa Cruz and Blue Creek celebrate Maya Day, with Deer Dance being the main highlight of the festivities.

Deer Dance is an important element of Maya heritage for Belizean people because it reflects a close relationship between the Maya and the land. San Antonio is the largest village founded by Mopan Maya in Belize. Many locals still speak the Mopan Maya language and live in traditional thatched huts. The village economy depends on cacao crops. San Luis is the village's patron saint and is usually honored during Easter festivities and at the end of summer during the San Luis Feast. Despite the Catholic nature of the San Luis Feast, its traditions refer to Maya culture. San Antonio is one of the most developed villages in southern Belize. It has a central water supply system and a small hotel.

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen