Celebrating Christmas The Ghanaian Way

Christmas time in Ghana is a magical time of the year and Ghanaians celebrate it in a very unique way. From the decorations to the food, from the music to the gifts, from the sadness to the joy, Christmas in Ghana is quite different from Christmas in other parts of the world. Family and friends make the Christmas spirit come alive in Ghana. The Christmas market at various shopping centers, the beautiful Christmas lights all over the city and the Christmas tree, there is no way you can resist the Christmas spirit in Ghana.

Photo Credit: Kuulpeeps

A typical Ghanaian family’s Christmas is when families buy a bag of rice, a bottle of soft drink, a special type of cookie known only for Christmas season known as Piccadilly, raw chicken or chevon or lamb. Raw rice and chicken are used to make the popular orange rice known as Jollof, along with the fried chicken that excites Ghanaian children. Add a bottle of soft drink and this kid will be your forever friend.

Another food served in most homes at this time of year is pounded cassava and plantain popularly known as fufu with light soup, chicken, gulls, and lamb. This is usually what makes the season great for most Ghanaians, but there are other ways to celebrate the season as well.

Here is a brief overview of the characteristics of this period.

Christmas Conventions (Church Activities)

Christmas is not the same for Ghanaians who do not attend church services. This is not surprising, as about 71.2% of the population are Christians. The church uses the holiday season to organize special programs such as conventions, retreats and special prayer services for its members. Children are very happy at this time of year because they go to church with new clothes, shoes and watches.

Christmas Church Service in Ghana

Spending Time with Family at Home

For many Ghanaians, Christmas is an opportunity to spend time with the family at home. While the holiday is a time of celebration, it is also an opportunity to spend time with family. With long-distance travel being expensive, many Ghanaians choose to celebrate Christmas at home with their families.

Family and Friends During Christmas

Families also organize barbecues for goats and pigs during breaks. Keeping the home clean and tidy, as many families look forward to the visit of other relatives or loved ones. Don’t be surprised if a bottle of soft drink and baked goods are served when you visit people during this time of year. This is the Ghanaian way of showing love during the Christmas season.

Attending Seasonal Events and Parties

It’s not just the decorations that make Christmas season memorable; the parties and events also keep the excitement high. Most companies usually hold a party at the end of the year. This party is two weeks or a week ahead of the Christmas break. Event organizers use the break to group all programs during the Christmas and New Year period.

Depending on the amount available, you can attend one or more of the following events: Masquerade Festival in Takoradi, Manifestivities, Afrochella, Ashiaman to the World, Rapperholic, Sabolai Radio Music Festival, Made in Tardi, Wonderland and various End of Year Awards Night.

Visiting our Extended Relatives at the Village or Rural Towns

In Ghana, most people migrate to the cities in search of work, but during the Christmas season they return to their towns or villages to visit relatives. These visits are beneficial because most returnees spend the money they earn from traveling, which increases incomes in rural areas. Rural areas are characterized by a relatively small population compared to other seasons, but the Christmas season brings excitement to these areas. Most visitors enjoy cheaper food and shopping when visiting the countryside.

Children Celebrating Christmas with Santa

Relaxing at the Beach

Ghanaians love the beach. Many people spend their Christmas holidays at the beach. Most beaches are crowded on December 25th and 26th and January 1st (New Year’s Day). Ghanaians are not necessarily swimmers, but the shores of the beach serve as picnic spots. People also ride horses while visiting the beach. Acrobatic performances and dances take place on the beach, and people just enjoy being on the sand. There are other interesting places to visit, but most Ghanaians enjoy spending time with family and friends on the sandy beaches.

Beach Party in Ghana

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