Festival of Holi in Guyana:
Holi is one of widely celebrated festivals in India, and the scale on which Holi is celebrated is also very grand. With millions of people celebrating this festival, it has become one of the most popular festivals to be celebrated in the world. This festival is celebrated as the celebration of victory of good over evil. It is also celebrated as a mark of respect to the great love between lord Krishna and Radha. Holi though is a festival native to India, hasn’t remained unique to India, as it is played in many other countries.
Located in the north-east coast of South America, on an altogether different continent ,Guyana celebrates Holi with great fan fair too. Holi is celebrated by the singing of special songs called Chowtal and by the spraying of coloured powder (abrack) and coloured water (abeer). People of Guyana refer to holi as phagwa, and is the festival is identified by the same name in Guyana. Children take special delight in the festival and submerge any passer-by with their colourful water jets called pichkaris.
The main reason why Guyana celebrates holi is because one third of Guyanese are Hindus. Holi happens to be a national holiday Guyana as Guyanese living overseas make special arrangement to be with the family at the time of Holi. Most of the traditions and customs that are followed Guyana Are inherited from India.
The Guyanese celebrate this festival of phagwa in the Indian way with little of unique Guyanese flavour blended into it. In Guyana 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, commemorating Prahlad’s legendary devotion to Lord Vishnu and end of holika who tries to kill Prahlad. This festival thus symbolises the victory of good over evil.