HAPPY GREETINGS FOR THE EASTER SEASON!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp

TODAY, April 1, is Easter Day which commemorates the Resurrection or ‘Rising of Jesus’ from the dead, the affirmation of the truth of the Christian message and the ascension or final departure of the Lord from the Earth and the milieu of mortal life.  In the Guyanese Tradition, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter  Monday are bound in close catenation, each dependent on the other for meaning, unlike in some other traditions where focus is wholly on Sunday when the Lord conquered death and arose from the dead.  Thus, Guyanese speak of the Easter Season.
Good Friday (or God’s Friday) is the day when Jesus was crucified;  Holy Saturday is a day of anxious waiting for the Resurrection;  Easter Sunday is the day of victory when the Lord triumphantly conquers Death and is Resurrected;  and Easter Monday is purely celebratory.  Before we go into detail about how each day of the Season was commemorated in Guyana, we would like at this point to reject the nonsensical attempt to link Easter with the old Teutonic religions.  When the Anglo-Saxons adopted the Christian religion, they used the name of one of their deities, Eostre, whose attributes bore some resemblance to Easter, to describe that Holy Day.  In several Latin languages, Easter is known as Pascal but the celebration is the same everywhere in the Christian world.  Further, to try to link Easter with the old Teutonic religions is analogous to saying that since, in the English Language, the days of the week are named after Teutonic deities, English speakers pay obeisance to or worship those deities, for example, Thor on Thursday or Woden (Odin) on Wednesday!
Good Friday is the most solemn and sad day in the Guyanese calendar. No music or dancing, or any commercial activity is permitted.  Many people fast on this day.  Church services are the only public activity.  In the mainstream Churches such as the Catholic and Anglican, the services take the form of verbal, dramatic presentations of the persecution, sufferings and crucifixion of Lord Jesus with the Stations of the Cross also depicted on the walls.  Holy Saturday is spent in prayer and in anxiously awaiting the Resurrection of the Lord. Then on Sunday, Jesus is miraculously Resurrected, walks among his disciples who touched his body and Thomas, to be absolutely certain he was seeing Jesus, placed his finger in the wounds.  All Churches hold joyous Easter services celebrating the Resurrection, and the mainstream churches are decorated and the priests wear special vestments. Finally comes Easter Monday.  Easter Monday is a time of quiet celebration, family lunches, visiting friends, sponge cakes in contrast to the black cakes of Christmas, ginger beer and above all, ubiquitous kite- flying and picnicking.  Kite-flying was believed to have originated in celebration of the ascension.  For the last three years, kite-flying disappeared, largely because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is hoped that there will be a vigorous resuscitation this year, though the lockdown was lifted only a short while ago.
In Guyana, unlike in Europe, Asia and Africa, the holy days of the three national religions, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, are celebrated to a greater or lesser degree by adherents of all three faiths because it is generally accepted that all religions lead to God.  Some festivals such as Diwali and Christmas have a universal following but holy days more intimately connected to their respective faiths like Easter, are less celebrated by all. Easter is, however, gradually having more and more Hindus and Muslims understanding its story, and more are finding no barrier against some participation.  Jesus, for example, is a Prophet of Islam and Hindus find no difficulty in accepting the Virgin birth of Jesus being an incarnation or Outar of God or Jesus being killed and resurrected.
With the new ethos ushered in by the oil-and-gas industry and the greater integration of Guyanese society, all groups seem ready to participate in Easter and help to preserve and resuscitate its customs.
May the great spiritual teachings of Easter touch all Guyanese, and may all enjoy a happy and peaceful Easter Season!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on google
Google+
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
Scroll to Top
All our printed editions are available online
emblem3
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.