Christmas in Ghana : Afishapa Celebrations in Ghana

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by the Burkina Faso to the north, Ivory Coast to the west, Togo to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The word Ghana means “Warrior King” and is derived from the medieval Ghana Empire.

Capital and largest city of Ghana is Accra.

Christmas in Ghana

Christmas Celebrations in Ghana : 

Ghana is a country with its own unique and culturally specific Christmas traditions and customs. Many people travel to visit their relatives and friends in other parts of the country. Over 66 languages are spoken in Ghana and all these language groups have their own traditions and customs! The bulk of the holiday celebrations in Ghana last for about two weeks, with celebrations beginning on December 20th and continuing through the first week of January.

Christmas Eve is the time when the celebrations really start with Church services that have drumming and dancing. Children often put on a Nativity Play. Other people celebrate Christmas Eve with fireworks and parties. Traditional food includes stew or okra soup, porridge and meats rice and a yam paste called ‘fufu’.

Christmas in Ghana

As a religious celebration the churches start preparing many months before December 25th. The preparations are so intense that one really feels as if the whole country is actually preparing for the birth of the baby Jesus. Christmas in Ghana is the time when relatives and friends visit each other from town to town and from village to village in all regions of the country regardless of their religious persuasion. The traditional Christmas Eve Dinner consists either of a specially cooked rice and goat or chicken stew or soup and is eaten before the Annual Christmas Worship Service and all friends and relatives as well as strangers are invited. The food consumed at the Christmas Day dinners may include rice, chicken, goat, lamb, and fruits of various kinds like mangoes, oranges, pawpaw or cashew fruits. The houses are always brightly decorated with beautiful paper ornaments specially made for the occasion by the families.

A tree in the center of the courtyard is also decorated. It may be a mango tree or a guava tree or a cashew tree. Not only homes but schools and neighborhoods are brightly decorated. After the service there is usually a joyous procession through the streets led by local bands and Christmas Revelers which is joined by all .

On Christmas Day everyone returns to the church in their finest new clothes and the churches are generally full. At the church we hear again the story of the first Christmas in all the ethnic languages along with the singing of traditional carols in our own ethnic languages reminding us of the meaning of the blessed birth of the baby Jesus. Meanwhile, throughout the celebration, everyone is greeted with the special Akan greeting word, “Afishapa,” meaning Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Children dash about shouting, “Egbona hee, egogo vo!”, “Christ is coming, he is near!”

Merry Christmas in Ghana? Afishapa!

Christmas Celebrations are grand in Accra the Capital and the largest city of Ghana. Christmas Celebrations are also big in bigger cities and towns of Ghana like – Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ashiaman, Cape Coast, Obuasi, Teshie, Tema, Madina, Koforidua, Wa, etc.

Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!