Christmas and New Year's Eve in Ghana

Once again I realized that Christmas time in Germany is something which I connect with little things like snow, Christmas markets, “Christstollen”, a German Christmas pastry, and my family of course. Due to that reason having a certain “Christmas mood” almost didn’t appear for me. Actually my first little Christmas encounter was in the West Hills Shopping Mall by the mid of December. The Mall put up a very nice artificial Christmas tree, where you were able to sit in Santa’s chair in order to take pictures. While I was strolling around in the Mall, I figured out that ordinary things for me like an escalator or an elevator are for some Ghanaian adults something new. I perceived some of them being very careful while using the escalator/elevator. In this particular moment I would love to see my reaction facing these things for the first time in my life.

On the 24th of December my host family killed one of the goats we bought some weeks ago and prepared it for the upcoming Christmas dinner. If you come from Germany, especially from the capital Berlin like I do, butchering animals is not part of your daily routine. So this was the first time in my life I was experiencing it. For sure I don’t want to get in details about that, so relax and keep on reading. Christmas is celebrated on the 25th here; on this day I went to church in the morning. The children of the church community were mainly in charge of the service. As a result I witnessed an extraordinary “You Raise Me Up” vocal performance by two young children. In the afternoon I had a very nice Fufu lunch with my host family; afterwards we spent the evening at a Christmas party in a beach resort. On the 26th I decided to chill at Kokrobite Beach with my friend Kamara. A lot of people in Ghana spend Christmas at the beach, while people in Germany spend it surrounded by snowflakes…

Normally, New Year’s Eve is celebrated at church in Ghana. Honestly, I have never been to church on this day but here is my experience so far. While getting closer to 2017, the prayers become more intensive until the peak at midnight. I am used to enter New Year’s Eve with a lot of fireworks (“knockouts” called in Ghana), so this time I was also expecting it. Due to the fact that almost everybody was in a church service, my New Year’s started unfamiliar calm. I guess after 5 minutes I heard the first fireworks. Finally the party started outside the church as well. All in all staying in a church service for Christmas and New Year’s Eve sounds kind of boring for Germans but I have to admit that it was always a big party I was joining. I learned that church doesn’t have to be rigid and unspectacular at all. To be continued…

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