Easter is both a Christian holiday and community celebration in the South American nation of Guyana.
|2019||19 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|22 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
|2020||10 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|13 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
Although the people of Guyana represent many religions and cultural traditions, religious holidays tend to bring communities together rather than foster division. Christians, Hindus and Muslims are eager to share their religious and cultural festivals with neighbors and friends. To be sure, the vast majority of public holidays in Guyana are religious in nature. Celebrating Easter in Guyana is both a spiritual and cultural event.
Christians have celebrated Easter throughout the world for nearly 2,000 years. The commemoration of the Blessed Savior rising from the dead reminds Christians that they will one day join the glorified Son of God in heaven. Along with Christmas, Easter is one of the major Christian holidays in Guyana. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus provides cause for a four day banking holiday and a festive mood in large cities and small communities alike.
Visitors to Guyana may be surprised to learn that most businesses are closed during the Easter celebration. Beginning with Good Friday, the sacred day of Christ’s crucifixion, local churches hold worship services to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Following Easter Services on Sunday morning, community celebrations take center stage and continue into Monday.
Even though kite flying isn’t generally all that popular in Guyana, that all changes on Sunday and Monday of the Easter holiday. These days, most families purchase their kites from a shop or vendor, but some children still build unique kites to fly on Easter. Soaring kites of every shape and a kaleidoscope of scintillating colors fill the sky, especially along the Atlantic seacoast where gusting winds are in plentiful supply. Easter activities aren’t restricted to Christians. Families of every race and religious tradition sail buzzing kites high above the landscape. Children even tie razor blades to kite tails to cut the strings or disable nearby kites. It’s all in good fun, and the beautiful scene helps make Easter a holiday to remember.
Religious and cultural holidays are an integral part of Guyanese Society. Community celebrations allow the motto of Guyana, One People, One Nation, One Destiny, to become a living reality. Aside from traditional church services, Easter in Guyana is characterized by family and community activities. Outings and picnics, food and drink and stimulating conversations help put the meaning of Easter and life into proper perspective.
Locals and visitors alike will enjoy the Bartica River Regatta. The annual Easter festival is held in Bartica, a town located near the convergance of three rivers, and features everything from water sports and boxing to a parade and beauty pageant. Another popular Easter holiday event is the Rupununi Rodeo. Also known as the Lethem Rodeo, this spectacular inland festival is held annually in region Nine and always receives national and international acclaim. Many families prefer a trip to Brazil or hiking to Kumu and Moco waterfalls to enjoy a little nature. The falls are located in the Rupununi Savannas and not far from the Brazilian border.
Solemn Easter worship services are held at Christian churches throughout the nation of Guyana. Many venues even show film productions of the passion of Christ during the Easter holiday. Historic St. George’s Cathedral is located in Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana. St. George’s was consecrated in 1894 and is an ideal venue to participate in Easter services. The beloved cathedral is a wellspring of Gothic architecture, including inspiring clustered columns and flying buttresses. The furniture, chalices and memorial tablets serve as a testimony to the long history of the Christian church in Guyana and its many Caribbean neighbors.