Belize National Day

10 Sep 2020  Thu

September 10 is National Day in Belize. This holiday celebrates the day, when Belize gained independence from Spain in 1798.

Originally the territory of what is now Belize was settled by the Maya civilization. The Spanish conquistadors explored the land and declared it a Spanish colony, but at the end of the 17th century English and Scottish pirates and settlers (known as the Baymen) entered the area. They were allowed to stay in exchange for an end of piracy.

Long lasting arguments between the Spanish and the Baymen over the territory led to a military engagement, which is known as the Battle of St. George's Caye. The battle lasted since September 3 till September 10, but its last day is considered to be the most important one. The Baymen defeated the Spanish fleet with no causalities on each side. Several years later Spain attempted to conquer the territory, but it failed.

The last day of the battle is celebrated as National Day and Belizeans commemorate the first people defending their territory. In the year 1998, Belize issued a 2 Belize dollar commemorative coin to celebrate 200th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George's Caye.

The coin depicts Coat of arms on the obverse along with name of the country on the top and the denomination on the bottom. The reverse depicts Two Oar-powered gun boats around a sailing ship along with the occasion of issue and period years 1798-1998.

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