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Guyana - Calendar
Kashif & Shanghai Football Tournament
This is a annual event which kicks off in the peak of the Christmas season. As such it presents one of our cornerstones for the development of sports tourism. It dates back to 1989 when the first tournament was played – exclusively with teams from Linden. During the 90s the tournaments grew into a national and later even an international event with an increasing number of foreign teams participating.
Mashramani, often abbreviated to Mash, is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on 23 February – Guyanese Republic Day – includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the ‘Birth of the Republic’. Georgetown is definitely the place to be during this festive time, and hotels can book up early.
The Hindu festival of Holi or Phagwa, as the Guyanese call it, is celebrated by the singing of special songs called Chowtaals and by the spraying of coloured powder (abrack) and water (abeer). Children take special delight in the festival and submerge any passerby with their colourful water jets called pichkaris. The season of Holi starts a month before with the planting of the Holika, a castor oil plant. This plant is burnt one month later as Holika (the devil), commemorating Prahlad’s legendary devotion to Lord Shiva and also the triumph of good over evil.
Rodeo complete with events like wild bull riding, horseracing, wild cow milking, wild horseriding, a female barrel race, steer roping, and (for locals only) cari drinking competitions… both official and unofficial. The evening programme presents festivities in the form of a cultural fair with food, games, music and the lively ‘Fawhaw’ dance, said, to have its origin in the popular Northeast Brazilian ‘Forró’ dance. The Rupununi rodeo has its origins in the middle of the last century, when vaqueros competed against each other in various skills; it later grew from being a centralised event in St Ignatius before moving to Lethem in 1985.
Indian Arrival Day
On the 5 May the Indian population of Guyana celebrate their history and culture which began on the day when the first group of indentured labourers arrived from India in 1838. The festival includes village celebrations, trade fairs and excellent traditional Indian cuisine.
Mutton Curry Competition
The annual Mutton Curry Competition takes place at the Lake Mainstay Resort, Essequibo
The thud of willow...
Guyana hosts international cricket tournaments at its large and modern Providence Stadium west of Georgetown. The season now begins in May and concludes in December, the regional first-class season runs from January to March and the international season begins in March and extends through June.
Emancipation Day is a nationwide national holiday in recognition of the abolition of slavery in 1834. Celebrated on 1 August, this commemoration day features an African Festival in National Park. Traditional foods and crafts are on sale throughout the day and in the evening there is a grand event in the stadium, with music drama and dance.
Amerindian Heritage Month
September is Amerindian Heritage Month with sporting and culture events across the interior culminating in closing ceremonies in or near Lethem. A ceremonial event or two is typically held at the end of the month in Georgetown, often with the President and/or Prime Minister in attendance. Local events at Annai, adjacent to Rock View Lodge, are the most accessible to outside visitors. While Amerindian communities warmly welcome visitors to Heritage events, foreigners rarely know about them so few outsiders ever get to see this annual celebration of Guyana’s indigenous tradition.
Rockstone Fish Festival
The annual Rockstone Fish festival takes place at the community of Rockstone, some 18 miles from Linden, in Region Ten (Upper Demerara / Upper Berbice). It is renowned for hosting Guyana’s largest fish festival aimed at both tourists and locals alike. A two-hour trip will allows participants to experience camping , fishing, birdwatching, or simply exploring the Essequibo River.
(Photo: Courtesy of Wilderness Explorers)