First Published: 26th of May, 2018 by Patrick Carpen.
Guyanese celebrate fifteen national holidays each year. Of these, 9 are religious holidays attributed to one of the three major religions (Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam) while 6 are non-religious.
Of the religious holidays, 4 are attributed to Christianity – which is Guyana’s largest religion, 3 are attributed to Islam, and 2 to Hinduism. On National Holidays, most business places and schools are closed.
The National Holidays of Guyana are as follows:
Religious National Holidays in Guyana
Christmas – Christmas is observed in Guyana on the 25th of December each year to celebrate the birth of Jesus whom Christians regard as the savior of the world. Even though the Christmas holiday is officially the 25th of December each year, celebrations begin much earlier in the month and extend all the way into the new year. The Christmas season is one of the merriest seasons of the year.
Related: What Christmas Means to Guyanese
Good Friday – Good Friday is a national holiday in Guyana whereby Christians remember and honor the crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.
Easter – Easter is a national holiday in Guyana set aside to mark the day on which Jesus rose from the dead – three days after he was crucified on the Cross of Cavalry.
Related: Easter – A Christian Tradition
Boxing Day – Boxing Day, also called St. Stephen’s Day, is a national holiday in Guyana that honors the Christian martyr, St. Stephen. On this day, people were supposed to prepare presents (in boxes) and take to friends and family.
Muslim Holidays in Guyana
Eid-ul-Fitr – This Muslim holiday marks the end of Ramadan – the Muslim month of fasting.
Eid-ulAdha – This Muslim holiday celebrates Abrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as proof of his genuine love for Allah.
Youman Nabi – This Muslim holiday celebrates the birth and death of the prophet Mohamed.
Phagwah – The festival of colors
Related: Phagwah Celebrations in Guyana
Diwali – The festival of light.
Related: Diwali: The Festival of Lights
Non-Religious National Holidays
Mashramani – Celebrate’s Guyana’s Republican status.
Labour Day – A holiday which honors workers in general as well as the Father of Trade Unionism, Mr Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow. Labor Day is observed on the 1st of May each year. Learn more about Labor Day in Guyana.
Caricom Day – Celebrates the anniversary of the start of CARICOM.
Emancipation – Celebrates the end of slavery.
New Year’s Day – The beginning of a new year.
Independence Day – May 26 each year is a day dedicated to celebrate Guyana’s Independence from the British Empire. Guyana gained independence in the year 1966.