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Guyana
Traditional Fests
JANUARY

New Year’s Day
Just like almost any other country around the world, Guyana celebrates the arrival of a new year every January 1st, and the celebrations start since December 31st among displays of fireworks and joyful concerts.

Youman Nabi
A Muslim celebration that commemorates the birth of Prophet Muhammad in Mecca, Youman Nabi is a public holiday that is honored with religious services at mosques and in which people who are in need are presented with contributions.


FEBRUARY


Mashramani
A celebration of its African heritage, Mashramani is a public holiday in which the locals participate in numerous picturesque activities such as competitions, parades and dancing, all to the rhythm of soca, calypso and steel band music to commemorate Guyana's Republic Day every February 23rd. Mashramani is the equivalent of Carnival and it also celebrates a good year's harvest in the country.



MARCH


Phagwa or Holi
Another festival of Hindu origins, Phagwa or Holi celebrates the birth of Sarawasti Jayanti, Hindu goddess of knowledge and arts. This day also marks the beginning of spring. Observers get involved in dances and chants as they are sprayed with different color shades. The Dholak and the Majeera are the traditional percussive instruments used at this celebration.



Easter
Easter celebrations take place between March and April and start with Ash Wednesday, a public holiday in Guyana which marks the end of Carnival. Although of Roman Catholic tradition, Good Friday and Easter Monday are also public holidays, and colorful kite flying on these days is a tradition.



AUGUST - SEPTEMBER


Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
A Muslim celebration, Eid al-Fitr celebrates the sighting of the new crescent moon according to the, and marks the end of Ramadan, a period of fasting. During this day, which is honored on August or September -depending on the Islamic lunar calendar- visits to mosques are traditional.



OCTOBER -NOVEMBER


Diwali
Associated with prosperity and abundance, The Diwali festival is a celebration of Indian origins which pays homage to Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of light, wealth and prosperity. Because of its light displays around the houses, the Diwali Festival is also known as the Festival of Lights.



DECEMBER


Christmas
A celebration that brings all Guyanese people together regardless of their religion, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, starting on the 24th and it is a celebration of Christian origins. During this day, the locals share with their families, exchange gifts and throw parties in honor to the birth of Christ.

Boxing Day
Also known as St. Stephen’s day, Boxing Day is a national holiday in Guyana. The death of this Christian martyr is commemorated and it is also a reminder of the “boxes” with goods that were given to servants on the day after Christmas as a present.