Christmas in Guyana

Guyana officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America.

Guyana is bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela.

Guyana is one of the few Caribbean countries that is not an island. Georgetown is its capital and the largest city.

Christmas in Guyana

Christmas Celebrations in Guyana :

Christmas and Easter are the major Christian festivals in Guyana. At Christmas time, people would normally do general cleaning of the house, repairs and any other cosmetic work on their homes. In Guyana, everyone decorates extensively with lots of lights for Christmas. According to tradition there is no display of decorations until Christmas Eve. Most of the churches display nativity scenes, some of them live, and conduct several programs to celebrate the season. The days leading up to Christmas Day are filled with office and school parties. There is wonderful food and liquid refreshment.

Gifts are exchanged after breakfast on Christmas day. Then there is a late lunch made up of baked chicken or turkey, stuffing, garlic pork, homemade pickled onions and numerous other delights. Usually, two types of cakes are made, one with the red cherries and raisins and the other, known as “black cake”, is made with minced prunes and raisins which are soaked in rum since the beginning of the year. The Christmas beverage in this warm climate is gingerbeer, mauby bark, or sorrel drink and wine from the jamoon fruit.

Christmas at Guyana

Starting early in the afternoon of Christmas Day, in many villages of Guyana, there are the traditional masquerade bands and steel bands which provide entertainment along a four or five mile stretch of road. Occasionally, members of the masquerade and steel bands would stop in front of the home of someone they know well to get some rest. They usually go into the home to have a schnapp of rum and a “cutter” which could be a piece of ham or cheese or something with a little bit of salt. Then off they would go again.

Preparation of the inner home for the Christ Child at Christmas is central to the spirituality of the season. Wherever there are Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services, every effort is made by Guyanese Christians to attend at least one of the worship services. To Guyanese, Christmas is symbolic of new birth within one’s soul as well as the remembrance of the birth of the baby, Jesus. Consequently, there are resolutions that are made to live a more Christ-centered life.

Guyana' christmas tree

Normally a few nights before Christmas, the older folks start going from house to house and sing carols like -

  • “Christmas comes once a year”
  • “And every man must have his share”
  • “Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer”

Parents take their kids to see “Father Christmas” at a department store in the city. The kids will normally get a small gift. There are also lots of parties and dances planned for the season. Churches hold services and the people of the Christian Faith attend, all in all it does not matter what religion you are, we all celebrate the season.

We wish all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Prosperous New Year 2020 !!!