Ghanaians prepare for Easter as COVID-19 Restrictions ease

0
COVID-19 vaccination card
COVID-19 vaccination card

Christians in Ghana will join the rest of the world to celebrate Easter, a festival that commemorates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity.

The festivity is a three-day celebration that starts on the evening of Thursday with the Last Supper and continuing through Good Friday with the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ.

It spans through to ‘Holy Saturday’ and ends with prayers on the evening of ‘Easter Sunday’.

Although the celebration could lose a bit of its taste to the COVID-19 pandemic, Christians across the world, would make the best of it, especially as the COVID-19 restrictions and protocol observation eased in some countries.

In Ghana, the festive season is commonly marked with church services, family get-togethers, exchange of gifts, donations to the needy, parties, concerts, and other entertaining events.

Many churches in Ghana hold services on Good Friday often with a drama portraying the suffering, crucifixion and burial of Christ and on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

The Presbyterian Church holds a gospel outreach service on Easter Monday, while churches like the Catholic, Anglican and Methodist Churches hold picnics on Easter Mondays to mobilise the youth as a step to deter them from engaging in risky and unaccepted social behaviours.

The Public Holiday Global website indicates that, charismatic churches typically hold large conventions or special Easter retreats and prayer meetings during the festivity and the youth of different denominations often go to “Easter camps.”

One distinct event in Ghana during Easter is the annual celebration at the Kwahu South District of the Eastern Region, where people from all walks of life and nationality throng the Kwahu Hills to celebrate the three-day-long event.

The annual Kwahu festival, popularly known with the slogan, “Kwahu ooo Kwahu,” entails activities such as paragliding, hiking, carnivals, street jams, picnics with lots of food and performances by various artists.

It also serves as an annual homecoming for the indigenes or natives of Kwahu, and an occasion of celebration for the holiday revelers.

Giving to charity in the form of food or money and throwing Easter party for orphans, widows, prisoners, and the mentally handicapped is also common in Ghana, especially among benevolent individuals and civil society organisations.

In an interaction with some members of the public, they told the Ghana News Agency that although there was an economic hardship, they would mobilise their family at a table for some memorable dinner after attending Church service on Sunday.

Others said the only celebration was to be alive and witness the day, as financially they were not strong to prepare special dishes or visit places of interest.

According to Legit.ng, Easter holidays are one of the best times for entertainers in Nigeria to show off their skills.

Comedians and music artistes set up comedy shows and thousands of people troop in and out of the hall. Even though they make so much money from such events, they thrill everyone who comes out to enjoy their holidays.

A report by Office Holidays website states that modern Easter celebrations revolve around eggs with the eggs painted, rolled down hills or eaten if they are of the chocolate variety.

The Christian tradition of an egg signifies an aid to rebirth and resurrection, or new life being born from the egg.

It said some schools of thoughts also believe that egg recalls the shape of the stone that rolled away on Easter Sunday from the tomb that held Jesus’ body.

Its adoption into the Christian traditions would have been quite seamless, as eggs are banned during the period of Lent preceding Easter.

The UKs Evening Standard explains that Easter known as ‘Semana Santa’, or Holy Week and observed for the entire seven days on the Iberian peninsula, finds people parading through the streets in costumes or in hooded robes.

They are then witnessed carrying intricate religious floats depicting different scenes from the bible, while often accompanied by live music. Some of the most well-known take place in Zamora, Valladolid, Seville, and Granada.

In France, tradition dictates that church bells stop ringing around Easter as a mark of respect for Jesus’ death. To explain their silence, children are told the bells have flown to Rome to be blessed by the Pope.

On the morning of Easter Sunday – Jesus’ resurrection, the bells then fly back to France loaded with sweet treats which they drop into gardens for the children and once they are back in their steeples, they then start ringing joyfully again.

The Germans mark Good Friday and Easter Monday as public holidays and celebrate by lighting bonfires around sunset on Holy Saturday.

Some places in Germany turn the “osterfeuer” (Easter bonfire) into mini festivals with stands selling sausages, wine and funfair rides.

The Pope leads the Easter celebrations in Italy, holding a huge mass on Good Friday at St. Peter’s Basilica where the Via Crucis, or Station of the Cross, is celebrated. During the mass, a huge crucifix made out of burning torches is raised in the night sky.

One of the most popular foods on the peninsula during this period is the Colomba di Pasqua, a traditional cake which is similar to a panettone.

In Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, people are spotted drenching each other with buckets of water, with men usually soaking women on Easter Monday.

The celebration in Finland and Sweden takes a unique toe as children dress up as Easter witches (påskkärring) and go door-to-door in their neighbourhoods in the hope of receiving chocolate.

 

Send your news stories to newsghana101@gmail.com and via WhatsApp on +233 244244807 Follow News Ghana on Google News

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here