When is Guyana Carnival?
The Guyana Carnival dates have not been confirmed yet for 2024. However, the carnival generally takes place around Guyana Independence Day on May 26th.
Where is the Guyana Carnival?
Guyana, which is officially known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is the only English speaking country in South America. It sits in between Brazil to the South, Venezuela to the west and Suriname to the east.
It is often referred to as being part of the Caribbean because it has strong cultural, historical and political ties with other Anglo Caribbean countries. Guyana Carnival takes place in Georgetown, which is the capital city of Guyana.
What is carnival in Guyana?
Guyana Carnival is an annual carnival celebration that takes place during May. Guyana Carnival is an event like no other! The Guyana Carnival official message is “Just get here.” It is one of the highlights of the year and attracts thousands of local and overseas carnival lovers who come to be part of the excitement.
Carnival is a popular cultural phenomenon in both South America and the Caribbean. Carnival in Guyana is an action-packed week filled with masquerades, elaborate costumes, non-stop partying, Guyanese culinary, entertainment, music, fetes and so much more.
Carnival in Guyana is for everyone! Come one, come all! Come to Guyana carnival! Come and dance, come and eat, come and celebrate Guyana’s Independence Carnival. Guyana welcomes everyone to join in for a time of revelry!
The Mas Bands are ready, the costumes are ready, the food is hot and the drinks are chilling! Don’t hesitate to jump on a plane and join in!
What is the difference between Mashramani and Guyana Carnival?
A question that gets asked a lot is “what is the difference between Mashramani and Guyana Carnival? Mashramani is a local cultural festival that is a “celebration after hard work” as defined by the Amerindians. And the locals look forward all year to doing that. Celebrating after a year of hard work.
Mashramani occurs annually on the anniversary of Guyana’s Republic Day, which is the 23rd February. This celebration sees thousands of Guyanese take to the streets in costumes and celebrating in the name of cultural pride and unity.
Guyana Carnival is a series of events that essentially lead up to the highlight of carnival which is a masquerade parade. It is basically a big part for adult revelers to be carefree.
What is the history of Guyana Carnival?
What is the history of the Guyana Carnival? The present Guyana Carnival began back in 2016 during the countries nation’s Jubilee celebration. In 2019 it was Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence!
As thousands of visitors were coming to Guyana to celebrate the anniversary. The Minister of Tourism at that time wanted to capitalize on this and celebrate this event on a grand scale. The Mas Band Road Parade was originally a feature of the Mashramani celebrations but was moved to the Independence celebrations, to satisfy the demand of the masses.
The success of the first Guyana Carnival provided a major economic boost to the local industries and provided much-needed exposure to local musicians, DJs and local culture. Because of this the carnival has continued annually and was scaled up to a ten-day period filled with parties/fetes, concerts and of course the Road Parade.
How do they celebrate the Guyana Carnival?
What to expect from Guyana Carnival? Expect a premium carnival that is fused with Caribbean and Guyana flavors. During the Guyana Carnival, a ‘Festival Avenue’ is set up on Main Street, that is open for the duration of carnival where you can buy delicious Guyanese foods, drinks, clothes, crafts and arts.
Guyana Carnival has awesome all-inclusive fetes, from Breakfast Parties Fetes, Boat rides Fetes, Cooler fetes, a number of fetes from Trinidad and so much more.
Carnival will be filled with some of the biggest soca celebrities, entertainers and DJs Guyana Carnival kicks off with local songstress Timeka Marshall on Friday, 18th May along with her party called 4TM. Besides Timeka, other Guyanese artists include Jomo, Big Red, Lil Red, Kwesi Ace, Lil Million and many others, who will feature in all events.
There are loads of other concerts including Kes the Band’s Tuesday on the Rocks concert, Destra Garcia in concert, as well as Tribe Ignite and much more. Shell Down Monday is a jam packed DJ event that showcases some of the best local DJs.
Like any great Caribbean Carnival, one of the most popular events of carnival is J’ouvert! J’ouvert is a sunrise parade that is more spontaneous than the Road Parade. Guyana Carnival has everything you could possibly want and love about Mas Parades. Lots of bright elaborate sexy costumes, glitz, glitter, glamor and revelry.
The peak of carnival is the parade on May 26th, Independence Day as well as the incredible J’ouvert, cooler fetes, beach parties and concerts.
Guyana Carnival Mas Bands
When it comes to celebrating carnival you can either just be a spectator or you can join in the parades! When you want to join in it is called playing mas. For those not familiar with Caribbean Carnival, to play mas you have to join a masquerade band.
You cannot just show up in a beautiful home-made costume and join the parade. You must select a mas band that you want to be part of, contact them, purchase their costumes, or t-shirts and dance through the streets with your chosen band.
The Guyana Carnival has two epic Mas Bands you can choose from there is Pulse Carnival and Genesis Carnival. You can check out their incredible costumes and learn more about the bands and which one you would like to be part of here: www.guyanacarnival592.com.
What is J’ouvert in Guyana? J’ouvert is a large, popular morning fete/parade that takes place at sunrise. J’ouvert is a French creole/Patois term that means – “opening of the day”. J’ouvert is a feature of the Trinidad carnival that spread to most other Caribbean Carnival celebrations. In Guyana, J’ouvert is dominated with appearances from popular Trinidadian soca artists.
How to get to Guyana?
The best way to get to Guyana is to fly. The Cheddi Jagan International Airport is located just 25 miles outside of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. This is the major international airport and has direct flights from Miami, New York, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Barbados and Suriname.
There are two legal land border crossings at Nieuw Nickerie in Suriname and Bonfim in Brazil. While Guyana borders Venezuela, there is no legal land crossing.
Where to stay for Guyana Carnival?
The carnival is held in Georgetown which is the main hub of the country so there are plenty of accommodation options. A 2-star hotel will cost you around $25, a 3 star hotel is about $47 and the most luxurious hotels will cost anywhere from $150-$300. There are also plenty of guest houses and private rentals.
If you are someone who wants to stay in more luxurious accommodation, the top hotels include Guyana Marriott Hotel, Herdmanston Lodge, Roraima Duke Lodge and Cara Lodge.
Check out Booking.com for some great accommodation deals here!
Book your Hotel and Flight for the Guyana Carnival
What to do and see in Guyana?
Georgetown is not only the capital but is also the largest city in Guyana. Georgetown is also known as the “Garden City of the Caribbean”. It is the financial, administrative and retail center of the country. The city is a beautiful colonial infrastructure with a Caribbean vibe. It is chaotic, colorful, vibrant and filled with lots of cultural attractions and a great performing art scene.
Guyana has an incredible mix of cultures that you can experience Caribbean, Amerindian, Latino and Amazonian interior. Getting outside of Georgetown you can experience beautiful untouched nature and wildlife.