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December in Suriname, the right time and the right place!

The festivities in Suriname, the country that was recommended as ‘the place to be during the holidays’ by the large news site CNN, can rightly be called the best of the best.

The festivities in Suriname, the country that was recommended as ‘the place to be during the holidays’ by the large news site CNN, can rightly be called the best of the best.

Photo Charles Chang

According to Chinese culture, fireworks are meant to chase off bad spirits and start the new year afresh.  In downtown Paramaribo, every year on December 31st, there is a pagara-estafette [pagara relay], a deafening spectacle of long pagara fireworks lined up on the pavement, shooting one directly after the other.

Photo IMoesan Multimedia

But this is always preceded by days of dancing our feet off to kawina music, which can especially be heard during the kawina festival, but also in the streets since many shop owners choose to entertain their customers with a kawina band in front of their stores.

Photo Charles Chang

Photo Charles Chang

And as is mandated by culture and tradition, the Surinamese party until about 11 o’clock at night on the 31st, so that they can be back home to pray and celebrate with their friends and families at midnight.

Photo Charles Chang

And Suriname wouldn’t be Suriname if the parties didn’t just pick back up after that! Wherever you may be Surinam Airways wishes you: wan bun nyun yari or a happy new year!

Please return to this blog post for new updates about all the end of the year activities as listed by SURIFESTA (also on Facebook)! The high resolution version of the SURIFESTA calendar can be downloaded here. Also, a special SURIFESTA app can be installed using iOS and Android.

Photo Marieke Visser, 2019

This text was previously published in Sabaku No. 61, November-December 2019-January 2020.

  

Text: Euritha Tjan A Way

Photos: Charles Chang

Translation: Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld