I decided to celebrate today because it is Mashramani here in Guyana. I'm currently in the capital city staying at my friend, Jess', house and just one house away from us is a GIANT parade that operates much like the Carnival celebrations all over the world last week.
Here's a summary from Wikipedia (links are underlined):
Mashramani, often abbreviated to "Mash", is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on 23 February – Guyanese Republic Day – includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the "Birth of the Republic".
The word "Mashramani" is derived from an Amerindian language and in translation means "the celebration of a job well done". It is probably the most colourful of all the country's festivals. There are spectacular costume competitions, float parades, masquerade bands, and dancing in the streets to the accompaniment of steel drum music and calypsos. Masquerades frequent the streets performing acrobatic dance routines, a vivid reminder of Guyana's African heritage. Calypso competitions with their witty social commentaries are another integral part of "Mash", and this culminates in the coronation of a King or Queen for the particular year.
So with the loud Soca music playing, the hundreds of people dressed up, the food, the lights, and the party atmosphere, I am going to take it upon myself to celebrate my one year anniversary as a Peace Corps Volunteer in conjunction with this Guyanese celebration of a "job well done."
"Chris Olin, I salute you."
"Gee, thanks buddy. You're swell."
"Don't let it go to your head."