SCFISociety for the Confluence of Festivals in India

Holi in Guyana

Located in the north-east coast of South America, Guyana celebrates Holi with great fan fair.

Holi or Phagwa, as the Guyanese better know, 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, commemorating Prahlad's legendary devotion to Lord Shiva and also the triumph of good over evil.

Holi happens to be a national holiday in Guyana as Hindus constitute about 33 per cent of the country's population. Guyanese living overseas make special arrangement to be with the family at the time of Holi.

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