Christmas, almost everywhere in the world, brings a certain air of joy, love, and a spirit of giving. The Ghanaian way of celebrating the birth of Christ is not much different. Thus, there are some noteworthy traditions and practices that make Christmas special in its own way in Ghana. The season is always one of good wishes, color, food, music, family and friends, church, and parties.
Let’s dive deep into the Ghanaian Christmas season.
Christmas in Ghana: How Ghanaians Celebrate Christ’s Birth
The Christmas season is often filled with so much movement, activities, and events going on. Most people and households make it a point to stock their supplies for various beverages, food, and other daily needs.
This is because prices tend to take a hike a few days before Christmas day. Also, most small shops are usually closed and most market sellers don’t open. This means the mid of December is usually the right and proactive time to start getting supplies, putting up Christmas decorations, and any other preparations such as booking buses and flights, making reservations, and getting prepared.
It helps to have a plan of activities so you know which movements to make and when as there tends to be head aching traffic and congestion in the major towns and cities. The villages are usually the point where city dwellers move to spend the holidays. A large number also prefer to celebrate in the cities.
It is safe to commence preparations from the 20th of December, though earlier would also be fine. Such a start will give you time to make all preparations before major congestions commence.
Organizations will typically hold their end of year events around the 20th as most workers either go on leave or get a break from work. Such events are usually for recognition, year reviews, and shaking off the ending year as they prepare for the new one. It is common for such events to be held in hotels, restaurants, and other public places.
How Christmas Day is Spent in Ghana
Churches will hold 24th Night services to enable Christians to thank God for his mercies and blessing and for sending his son to save the world. Christmas Eve is usually lively throughout the country as midnight approaches, they patiently await with singing, dancing, and heavy air of joy, fireworks, and celebrations. This is the day “Church Alumni” pay a visit. Church alumni are people who haven’t attended church for a long while. This is usually a special day that everyone wants to go to church.
The following morning, the 25th of December is Christmas day. This is the day you’d find little children adorned with freshly bought or sewn clothes for Christmas. Such services are held in various denominations across the country. Christmas carols are usually the main source of music for service with plenty of fun.
Right after service, gatherings, get-togethers, parties, etc commence. People cool off with nice music and enjoy the season with family, friends and make even more friends. The atmosphere of Christmas is usually one of giving and sharing. Families prepare wholesome delicacies mainly rice-based dishes and share with their neighbors, family, and the needy.
It is always a good sight where everyone is in the moment happy and joyous. All this happens amidst firecrackers. Depending on the neighborhood, firecrackers could go off throughout the month of December and end a few days after the 1st of January.
How The Season is Observed After Christmas Day
26th is a nationally observed holiday based on the British tradition of boxing day. This day is typically for parties, meeting family, traveling to the hometown that if you want to spend the new year at home, and so many fun activities and events.
27th is a working day and everyone gets back to work except in organizations where breaks have been given and workers who are on holiday. This continues through to the 31st of December. Church services are once again held on this last day of the month and year. Services are typically convened in large areas where hundreds and thousands of people can be accommodated. It is usually at these services where the theme for the new year is declared depending on the specific church.
The evening is usually filled with thanksgiving, seed-sowing, and prayer. As midnight approaches, congregations sing and praise God. When midnight strikes, the tempo heightens with joy and singing. Firecrackers pop everywhere and wake up sleeping babies.
Church service continues on the first and it is common to see families dressed in white clothing in an expression of their joy and thankfulness to God.
Celebrations continue after the service amidst the usual sharing and events.
The 2nd of January marks the end of the festivities even though the atmosphere is still usually still the same. Workers return to work but Christmas wares such as toys, clothes, etc. Promotions and giveaways mostly end shortly after the 2nd of January.
It must be said that it isn’t only Christians who celebrate Christmas in Ghana. People from different backgrounds get caught up with the festivities and enjoy themselves.
Ghana is a lovely place to spend Christmas. The events, ceremonies, and atmosphere is always one that you cannot afford to miss. It is one of culture, religion, and also fun.