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How is Easter Celebrated in Africa?

Posted by Tareian King on

How is Easter Celebrated in Africa?

Throughout Africa, there are about 631 million Christians who celebrates Easter. In Francophone African countries it is called La Fête de Pâques.  As with most holidays, every country has their own way of celebrating! One thing that you will notice is that African Eastern celebrations are not commercialized. There are no white Easter bunnies. There are social and spiritual celebrations, families, food, and tons of fun. 

 

The day typically starts off with church service. Africans usually attend church service every day for four days, starting on Thursday before Good Friday (when Jesus died) and ending on Easter Sunday (when he resurrected). These services or Easter vigils as described by some African traditions are often filled with prayer, singing of hymns, Bible verse readings, and so on. Although Easter is based on celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians in Africa also celebrate with non-Christians. Together, as one community, everyone celebrates together.  

Families in countries like Congo, Nigeria, and Kenya enjoy a special family meal in the afternoon or evening in addition to African dancing!  The special meal that most countries prepares  often consists of rice, chicken, meat and a selection of veggies. However, this can also depend on the country. For example, in Congo, people usually eat fufu, which is made from cassava or maize flour. In Ethiopia, they break their 55-day fast by eating injera, (a special Ethiopian bread) or teff pancakes, which is  made from grass flour.

During these family reunions and get-togethers, gifts are also exchanged. In Ethiopia, special gifts are made for children. In some cultures in South Africa, boxes of Easter eggs, which symbolize new life are collected and distributed to children in underprivileged schools. The aim is to give a treat to every child in the selected schools. In other parts of Africa, donations are made to widows and single mothers.

 For most Ghanaian societies, Easter is synonymous with paragliding, which takes place on the Kwahu mountains in the Eastern region. Dozens of Ghanaians and tourists throng the region to enjoy the moment and or to participate in the paragliding festival. Other activities like hiking, carnivals and street jams do take place. Although every African country has their own way to celebrate, you will find that friends, family, and food is apart of every country's tradition.  

 How do people celebrate Easter in your town, state, village, or country? 

 

 


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5 comments


  • Great article!

    In New Orleans Easter is definitely a celebration! There’s no greater feeling than stuntin’ in your Sunday’s best for Easter. And it wouldn’t be Nola if there wasn’t also at least 3 parades and/or second lines! And if you also decided to have Easter Sunday brunch with your 30 cousins, you probably still ended up eating crawfish on the lake for sunset. A day of love, spirituality, and celebration!

    Micah on

  • In Kenya, Easter celebrations are centered around church, family and food. I remember traveling upcountry with my extended family when I was younger to visit my grandparents and we’d have a grand time playing outside, enjoying grandma’s food and reflecting on the death and resurrection of Christ which is so important to Christians.

    Melissa on

  • In Kenya
    As Jesus dies so do goats
    Roasted goat ribs for the win😂

    Gordrick on

  • In Eritrea, because we follow the Julian calendar, it is actually psalm Sunday (Hosanna) today for us (all Eastern Orthodox follow this) and for us, Easter (Fasika) is always 1 week after the Western/Gregorian Calendar Easter. So you will see your Eritrean and Ethiopian followers posting happy Easter next Sunday.

    In terms of how we celebrate, we usually go to the church the night before and there is prayer throughout the night and after midnight we break the fast and celebrate eating ga’at/genfo with immediate family.

    We usually buy a sheep and cook all of our traditional dishes and invite all of the family (cousins and extended family) over to celebrate for the afternoon of Easter. We do the traditional coffee ceremony as well !

    Winta on

  • As a kid growing up, I was thought early on the meaning of Easter and how it’s celebrated. We always had Easter egg hunt events in school and then Easter parties in church but most of all the importance of everything was the fact that Christ actually died for us on the cross to wash away our sins and then resurrected.

    Neville on

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