GHDS calls for safe, sober celebration of Phagwah

The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS) has welcomed the celebration of Phagwah or Holi after a two-year-long hiatus due to COVID-19, urging persons to remain safe.

Phagwah celebrations in Guyana

In a statement on Tuesday, the Sabha noted that, “While we are sure that Guyanese are thrilled to, once again, engage in Phagwah playing, we remind you to be safe and pay heed to the COVID-19 guidelines”.
The organisation also reiterated calls for the festival of Phagwah to be respected and observed in a sober manner and not for promotional or commercial purposes that do not reflect on the true celebration.
“We strongly urge promoters and event managers to desist from associating Phagwah and Holi, the usage of the names and the elements of the festival with events that are alien in nature to the festival, which has both spiritual and social dimensions.”
It added that such actions and activities constitute disrespect to the festival, which encourages unity and equality.
“Events which promote alcohol, non-vegetarian foods, vulgarity and lewdness have no place in Phagwah celebrations. Linking such events to Phagwah constitutes gross disrespect and desecration of this lovely festival which encourages unity, love, equality and fraternity. Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha trusts that all will respect this call, and that we can have the festival enjoyed in its pristine form where all Guyanese, including families, can enjoy the beauty of Phagwah unencumbered by any act that will desecrate the significance of the festival,” the GHDS outlined.
This is the first year since the pandemic struck that the country will be celebrating the festival of colours in a celebrative way. Since 2020, authorities were monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and as such, large celebrations were not permitted.
This time around, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has organised an event at the National Stadium in observance of Holi. The festival will be celebrated on Friday, April 18.