Sunday, September 11, 2016

9-11-2016 Hopkins Jouvert

Like much of the Caribbean, Belize has a very multi-cultural past and is still a multi-cultural country, so it is not surprising to find customs adopted from lots of other peoples. Carnival is celebrated throughout much of the Caribbean around Easter time, and in Belize it is also celebrated in September around Independence Day. Jouvert is one of the September Carnival events. (Here is a Wikipedia article about the history of J'ouvert.)

In Belize Jouvert is a street party where people follow dancing behind a truck playing soca music, and they get doused in mud
(boiled for days to purify it, according to the locals). This event is big in Belize City, but Hopkins decided to have its first
ever Jouvert this year. It started at 3 am and continued until sunrise. It was actually supposed to happen the morning before
(on St. George's Caye Day, which celebrates the last battle where the British successfully defended the country from the
Spanish), but an unfortunate incident caused the event to be postponed one day. Anyway, amazingly, without naps during the
day, we managed to stay up all night to enjoy it. I'm pretty sure we were the only non-locals there, but we felt totally welcome.

Around 5 am or so the gathering ended at the beach by the church. At this point everybody goes racing into the sea to wash off
the mud and enjoy the sunrise. (Okay, Eric didn't jump in, but Cara did because she got "mudded" during the celebration.)

We failed to get a picture in time, but we saw a string of young guys, one right after the other, run and do back handsprings all
the way into the sea! And not one of them biffed!

The sea felt fabulous after staying up all night and getting muddy.

Our friend Dirk of Hopkins UnCut was there to document the entire event. Take a look at his Hopkins Village Jouvert photo
album on Facebook
- there are even a couple of pictures of us in there.

When the sun started getting strong everyone departed. We went home and took showers and naps. Of course, Eric didn't get
much of a nap because he had to drive to Dangriga to pick up visitors from the airport. Needless to say, the event threw off our
sleep schedule for a couple of days, but it was well worth it.

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