Latin America knows all about celebrations and the small Caribbean Island of Roatan is no exception. This Central American gem’s fun loving population hosts many celebrations and events during the year.
January 1st is New Year's Day and Roatan Kicks the year off the evening before with a huge New Years Eve party that can last until several days later.
In 2013, March 25th - 31st is Holy Week. This is a huge Latin American celebration known as Semana Santa and is a party that last s the entire week before Easter. It is not to be missed on Roatan!
Semana Santa in upcoming years:
- 2014 April 13th - 20th
- 2015 March 29th - April 5th
- 2016 March 20th - 27th
For Christians on Roatan this is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) and Good Friday, and lasts from Palm Sunday until, but not including Easter Sunday. It commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
April 12th is Carnival, a celebration of the arrival of the Garufina in Punta Gorda. Carnival is celebrated all over the island with celebrations in all of the major centers including;
- Punta Gorda,
- Coxen Hole,
- Oak Ridge,
- Flowers Bay,
- Sandy Bay, and
- French Harbour.
Day of the Americas or Pan American Day is celebrated on April 14th. It is actually observed throughout the America’s as a symbol of the unity and strong bond of the American continent (Central and South America).
Pan American Day originated during the 1800s and was established because of the Monroe doctrine, which aimed to create a spirit of unity between the countries of the America’s and at the same time not forget about their European origin. On April 14, 1931 Pan American Day was officially passed under the administration of President Herbert Hoover.
During this special holiday, the people of Honduras actively participate in commemoration celebrations, displaying flags of the different nations that are part of the Pan American Union. In most schools and universities, the Day of the Americas is always a big celebration every year.
Activities include parades and presentations including pageants or plays that re-enact this celebrated day in the America’s history.
Are you a Pirate lover? On April 24th and 25th, Jonesville hosts the Pirates Fair. This is a great event and was originally started as a fund raising event to pave the roads of Jonesville.
June 17th and 18th is the Roatan International Shrimp Festival, a two day international event promoting the Bay Islands, Honduran music and its culture to thousands of visitors.
September 15th is Independence Day. This is a public holiday commemorating the declaration of independence of Central America from Spain in 1821. There are many celebrations all across the island again in most of the major centers.
In September boat owners and crew meet in West End for the Roatan International Fishing Tournament. Great food, drink and the spirit of friendly competition is the order of the day, not to mention some enormous fish!
October 3rd is Soldier's Day, a celebrated public holiday.
October 12th is Discovery of America Day (Columbus Day) another public holiday commemorating Columbus's discovery of America. Also many celebrations across the island.
October 21st Honduran’s celebrate Honduran Armed Forces Day. This is a public holiday commemorating the 1956 overthrow of dictator Lozano Diaz. It looks like everyone was glad to get rid of this guy!
October 31st is Halloween and ghosts and goblins invade all parts of Roatan.
November 1st is All Saints Day.
In December Roatan celebrates the Christmas Festival which is a local festival celebrating the arrival of Christmas. This time culminates in the islands celebration of Christmas Day, December 25.
So be sure to take some time during your Roatan beach/dive/zipline vacation and enjoy some of the island's many festivals and events.