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?