First Published: 17th of April, 2022.Last updated: April 17, 2022 at 17:24 pm
Editor’s Note: The fact that Guyana is the only country in the world where kite-flying symbolizes the Resurrection makes our country unique and special. It is a tradition that we should definitely uphold.
The Easter Holiday is celebrated essentially the same way across the world – with slight differences due to traditions and culture. It starts with Good Friday – which signifies the Crucifixion, and ends with Easter Sunday – which signifies the Resurrection of Jesus. Gathering at church services is an across-the-board activity for Christians celebrating the Easter Holiday around the world.
At the same time, there are slightly different Easter traditions unique to particular countries. In Guyana, Christians attend Church, worship, and say prayers during the Easter Weekend. In addition, Guyanese have adopted the British tradition of eating hot cross buns. The cross symbol on the buns signifies Christians’ belief that Jesus died for their sins.
But one Easter tradition unique to the country of Guyana is the flying of kites to symbolize the Resurrection of Jesus. Kite flying usually starts a few weeks before the actual Easter holiday, and it intensifies as the holiday draws closer, and on Easter Sunday, beaches, savannas, and open spaces in general across Guyana are jampacked with kite flyers who double up the activity into a sort of picnic/kite flying recreation.
Just like Phagwah, Diwali, Christmas, and other religious holidays, Easter is not only celebrated by Christians, but by all Guyanese in order to show support, brotherhood, and solidarity with one other, and people of all races and religions fly kites with their families on Easter Sunday.
In Guyana, the flying of kites is used to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus, but according to our research, no other country in the world shares this tradition. In other countries, kite flying is done for different reasons such as sports or military exercises, but we could not find one other country where kites are flown to symbolize the Resurrection. In this context, it is not clear where and how Guyana developed the tradition of flying kites to symbolize the Resurrection. Even England, the country which colonized and Christianized Guyana, does not fly kites during Easter to symbolize the Resurrection.
So how did the idea of flying kites to symbolize the Resurrection of Jesus come about in Guyana? We do not know. There is a rumor that, during colonial times, the Chinese would fly kites during the Easter weekend. When the British rulers insisted that they should be in church for Easter instead of flying kites, the Chinese cunningly made up a story that the raising of kites symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus. We are not sure how true this story is.