Mashramani, often abbreviated to “Mash”, is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on 23rd
February, Guyanese Republic Day, includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the “Birth of the Republic”. I
The word “Mashramani” is derived from an Amerindian language and in Guyanese English means “celebration after cooperative work”. It is one of the most colourful of all the country’s festivals, and one of the few that involves all Guyanese ethnic groups. There are spectacular costume competitions, float parades, masquerade bands, and dancing in the streets to the accompaniment of steel band music and calypsos. Masquerades frequent the streets performing acrobatic dance routines, a vivid reminder of Guyana’s African heritage. Calypso and chutney music competitions are another integral part of Mashramani, and this culminates in the coronation of a King or Queen for the particular year.