The Real Reasons behind Motorcade in Guyana – WHAT DOES MOTORCADE MEAN TO US AS GUYANESE
The Motorcades commenced in 1974, after the Sabha’s President, the Late Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Ji, thought that the festival of Diwali was too significant an occasion to just be restricted to the lighting of diyas on Diwali night. A fundamental principle of the Hindu philosophy is the declaration that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is untainted, immeasurable, and ceaseless; this is called the Atman.
Diwali, for Hindus, is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (inner joy or peace). Diwali celebrates this through lights, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship.
When the event started decades ago, it was simply a few vehi cles with lights, but the motorcades have evolved over the years to include imaginative depictions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, namely Mother Laxhmi, hailed as the Goddess of light. In the motorcade, there are children and youths dressed as the God Vishnu and the Goddess Laxhmi among other Hindu deities. The event continues to display the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Hindu believers.
The national motorcade is known to be celebrated by performing a mélange of traditional activities, with persons from across the religious and cultural spectrum participating as either spectators or participators in the festival. The event features festive fireworks by onlookers, sharing of sweets and lighting of homes. All of this have become an integral part of the motorcade.
The annual motorcade which now spreads from Essequibo to Corentyne showcases a kaleidoscopic array of lights is accomplished by creative young minds with support from the business communities and draws the attention of thousands of Guyanese across the spectrum gathering to witness the spectacle. The motorcades, which has become competitive over the years, displays a blend of colours featuring religious depictions and music, all on moving vehicles with the creators striving for the top spot. Some of these depictions can take up to three months to design and complete. The finished designs will hit the roads on the eve of Diwali and this alone sends that powerful message that with unity, strength and determination, anything is possible. All of it is done by devotees who use this as another platform to express their love and devotion to the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, Maha Laxhmi.