Celebrating Easter in Africa



Easter in Africa

It's hard to believe that Easter is only a few days a way. It probably feels like Christmas just ended..but Easter is a wonderful day to look forward to. In preparation for this Easter, see how it is celebrated in some parts of Africa.

Africans for the most part are a very religious group of people, so Easter is an important holiday for the almost 70 million Christians that live in Africa. The celebrations start on the proceeding Thursday with people attending church services daily until Easter Sunday. An Easter vigil usually starts at 3 PM and proceeds until 6 PM on these days. The church is decorated in hand-made fabrics made up in the forms of butterflies, flowers, banana trees, etc,..and Christian hymns are sung along with the beating of the native African drums.

In Africa, Easter is a social celebration as well as a spiritual one. At Easter families come together. They share special food with Christians and non-Christians, indulging in boiled or roasted rice with meat or chicken. Meat and chicken are very expensive for many countries in Africa, so this is quite a luxurious meal.

In Ethiopia Easter is one of the most revered festivals, celebrated after 55 days of fasting. Followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church offer daily prayers at the church and do not eat until 3 PM, except Saturday and Sunday when prayers are conducted early in the morning. Gifts are made for the children and most people are resplendent in their best clothes, usually the dazzling white traditional dress. Everyone spends Easter Eve at the Church praying until 3 am when it is announced that Christ has risen!

Ethiopian Easter ceremony

The above photo shows Ethiopians in white cotton robes for the Holy Saturday ceremony. Credit to photographer Jose M. Ruiberriz for the photo. You can find many more articles about African holidays and celebrations by Clicking Here. You can also find many white African garments that are often worn during Easter ceremonies. Just Click Here to go to the clothing section of the web site.