Fairy lights and busy streets? It’s Christmas in Guyana

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Photos and story by Vishani Ragobeer

vishani@newsroom.gy

Christmas time is a beloved season in Guyana.

It is evident from the fairy lights and decorations hanging on trees, houses, buildings, vehicles and well… seemingly everywhere in need of a bit of ‘sprucing up’.

It is evident from the sheer effort put into buying gifts and new tableware and household items. (Because is it really Christmas unless your house has a new set of blinds?)

And it is evident when friends and families get together and just enjoy the yearend bliss.

Christmas, at its core, is rooted in Christianity, but some things are reminiscent of a Guyanese Christmas.

Though each person and each family might have their own unique Christmas traditions and celebrations-that is, of course, if you do celebrate the holiday- in this photo series, we offer a glimpse of some quintessential ‘Guyanese things’ at this time of the year.

For years, the commercial hub of Guyana’s capital city Georgetown has been Regent Street. At Christmas time, people flock the stores and pavements hoping to get what they need (Photo: News Room/ December 23, 2022)

 

New tableware, and other household items are usually in high-demand (Photo: News Room/ December 20, 2022)

 

Markets, where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold daily, add sweets and goodies to their offerings. Danish Butter cookies, found in a circular tin, are a Christmas staple in households (Photo: News Room/ December 20, 2022)

 

Beyond the marketplace, the Christmas goodies find their way into the busy shopping spaces- like on Regent Street. Imported apples and grapes are also staple Christmas items (Photo: News Room/ December 23, 2022)

 

Haggling is not uncommon, especially when it comes to purchasing those must-have Christmas items (Photo: News Room/ December 20, 2022)

 

With pepperpot as the undisputed Guyanese Christmas dish, especially on Christmas morning, casareep- the key ingredient for Pepperpot- is a big seller (Photo: News Room/ December 20, 2022)

 

Pepperpot is also a national dish (File photo)

 

Masqueraders dancing in the streets, near traffic lights and busy pavements is perhaps, another quintessential part of Guyana’s Christmas celebrations. These masqueraders travelled from Victoria, on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) as part of concerted efforts to keep this tradition alive (Photo: News Room/ December 23, 2022)

 

At night, when the hustle and bustle dies down just a bit, the fairy lights illuminate the night sky. Main Street, Georgetown, is once again becoming Guyana’s Christmas go-to spot, not just for the elaborate lights and decorations but for unique products, food and entertainment as well (Photo: News Room/ December 2, 2022)

 

Over the holiday season, many people visited Main Street’s Christmas village, attracted by the colourful Christmas creations and lights (Photo: News Room/ December 2, 2022)

 

Finally, Christmas in Guyana does not ignore the religious underpinnings of the holiday. On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, Christians celebrate the holiday by attending church. In this photo, dozens of people gathered at the Brickdam Cathedral, Georgetown, for mass just before midnight on Christmas Eve (Photo: News Room/ December 24, 2022)
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