The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS) has a full calendar of activities planned for Phagwah (Holi) 2016, which will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 23.
The annual Phagwah Mela and Bazaar will be held on Saturday, March 12 at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara from 16:00h. This year, in addition to fabulous entertainment, there will be a fantastic food festival featuring local, traditional and authentic vegetarian foods.
Patrons will be able to enjoy samosas, pakodas, baiganies, potato balls and pholourie fried on spot and served with a variety of chutneys; a wide range of Indian sweets, including barfi, gulab jamun, pera, mittai and jalebis; seven curry served traditionally in leaves; sada roti with various chokhas; authentic Indian cuisine such as biryani rice, channabatura and paneer and much, much more.
Having satisfied the taste buds, it will then be onto the stage performances which will feature outstanding Guyanese singers Artie Sookhai, Rekha Singh, Sookrane Bookdhoo, Mona Gowkarran, Richie Hansraj, Suraj Dhoray and Dindial Mohan. They will be performing music from the different decades along with some favourite Holi melodies.
The Dharmic Nritya Sangh of Naya Zaman fame will be presenting exciting dances replete with energy, glitz and glamour.
The grounds of the Conference Centre will be transformed and patrons will be able to move freely from the beautifully decorated stage area to the bazaar featuring the numerous food stalls, mehndi booths, games and great shopping deals on everything from Indian clothes, jewellery and Phagwah supplies to phones from Digicel.
Strictly no alcohol will be allowed. Tickets cost $800, with children under 10 being given free admission. Paid parking will be available within the compound of the Conference Centre.
On Sunday, March 13, the East Coast Demerara Praant will host its annual Phagwah Sangam at the Mahaica Market Tarmac, which will feature Chowtaal melodies and talent from East Demerara in song, dance and drama.
The programme commences at 18:00h. Admission is free and bhojan (seven curry) will be served to all. The East Bank Demerara Praant’s Phagwah Mela will be held on Saturday, March 19 at the Diamond Tarmac at 18:00h.
Chowtaal Samelan, an initiative of the Sabha, will be held countrywide in all of the Praants. Chowtaalgols or groups from Mandirs in each region will converge at the various venues to share in spirited singing reflective of the festival. The first Samelan is scheduled for Friday, March 11 at the Palmyra Prem Bhakti Mandir, East Berbice at 17:00h. On Sunday, March 13, Samelan will be held at the Providence Mandir, East Bank Demerara beginning at 10:00h.
On Sunday, March 20, Chowtaal Samelan will be held at Guava Bush, Central Corentyne at 12:00h, at Rosignol Mandir, West Berbice at 10:00h; Unity Mandir, East Coast Demerara at 11:00h; De Willem Mandir, West Coast Demerara at 13:00h and the Colombia Mandir, Essequibo at 10:00h.
On Sunday, March 20, the East Berbice Praant will host a grand Phagwah Mela and Katahar Curry Competition at the Rose Hall Welfare Ground, Canje starting at 15:00h.
The event will also feature an exciting stage programme which includes an enactment of the story of Bhakta Prahlad, songs and dances. There will also be a number of Holi-related activities. Admission is $300.
The Sabha will also be hosting its annual Holi Utsav on Phagwah Day at the Everest Cricket Club Ground. In addition to scintillating performances, there will be powder giveaways, countdowns, colour throws, dance instructions for the crowd, dahihandi, food stalls and other exciting activities at this family event. Holi Utsav will also be held at the Oceanview Mandir Compound, West Coast Demerara.
Holika Dahan or the burning of Holika will be observed on the eve of Phagwah at the Camptown Ground, Campbellville at 19:30h.
The Essequibo Praant’s Phagwah Mela is scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground at 13:30h.
The Sabha urges all to attend these events which usher in the beautiful spring festival of Holi.