Mashramani – Guyana

This Essequibo Islands/West Demerara costume depicted the golden sunshine days’ for Guyana at yesterday’s annual Mashramani Float Parade. (Photo by Jules Gibson)

Mashramani aka “Mash”, stems from the Arawak Amerindian word ‘Mashirimehi’, which means “co-operative effort”.

The now annual festival was first celebrated on Feb 23rd, 1970 in the mining town of Linden in celebration of Guyana’s becoming a Republic in 1970. February 23 is now Guyanese Republic Day, and the Mash includes a parade, music, games and cooking. There are costume competitions, floats, masquerade bands, and dancing in the streets to the accompaniment of steelpan and soca.

Next year’s Mashramani celebrations will mark 40 years of Guyana’s Republic status.

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