For Christians all over the world, Easter is a significant holiday that is celebrated every year. The holiday celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus, one of the Christian faith's chief tenets. For this reason, the Easter celebration in Ghana is usually a pompous affair as each Christian chooses how they want to commemorate the special day.
While most people celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the holiday lasts a lot longer than that. The Holy Week begins with the celebration of Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and ends with a celebration of the Last Supper on Good Friday. His rest in the grave on Holy Saturday is also celebrated, and the holiday culminates in a massive celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The original meaning of Easter
It is common knowledge that Easter is a changeable holiday, meaning that it never falls on the same date twice. The reason for this is not known to many. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring equinox.
Easter is named after a pre-Christian goddess in England, Esotre, who was celebrated at the beginning of Spring. Even after most people began converting to Christianity, the name of the celebration stuck. Easter became a Christian celebration that was named after a Pagan celebration.
The Spring season seems to be a recurring factor where the holiday is concerned. Even before Jesus was born, Spring was celebrated as it meant that the plants and trees that were dormant through the winter would come back to life. The death and resurrection of Christ goes in hand with this symbolism of life and rebirth.
Easter also has strong connections with the Jewish Passover holiday. In fact, in many non-English speaking cultures, the holiday is referred to using names that are best translated to Passover. Some great examples are ‘Pascha’ in Greek and ‘Pasaka’ in Swahili. This is because the reason Jesus went to Jerusalem and was crucified was to celebrate the Passover. Therefore, these two significant events in history usually overlap each other.
Origins of Easter traditions
Easter is a tradition that has been around for millennia. The most common Easter traditions are the Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. While the Easter bunny who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children is not mentioned in the bible, it is a long-standing tradition whose origin is not clear.
From a Christian perspective, the Easter egg represents Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and His resurrection. Other religious Easter traditions include eating Easter candy, Easter fashion parades, Easter lilies, and eating Easter traditional foods.
How Easter is celebrated in Ghana
Ghana is made up of people from several religions. However, the Christian population is a significant one. Given the importance of Easter, and what it represents, it is normal to see Ghanaian Christians coming out in huge numbers to commemorate the occasion.
In Ghana, the celebrations begin on Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It is common to find church congregations in processions waving palm branches and white handkerchiefs while singing praises to God. After Palm Sunday, the next celebration happens on Good Friday, where every churchgoer goes to church to mourn the death of Christ.
Some dress in dark-coloured mourning clothes and the mood is always solemn. It is a common belief that repenting during this time is advisable since your sins will be crucified on the cross with the Savior. However, other churches celebrate Good Friday. They believe that the day is a cause for celebration because Jesus died for their sins and triumphed over death.
There is also a category of people who celebrate the holiday but not necessarily in a religious manner. For them, it is a time for meeting with family and having fun. Most Ghanaians also commemorate the day with events to celebrate Easter.
One of the most popular Easter celebrations in Ghana is the Kwahu Easter. For this celebration, people from all walks of life converge at Kwahu Hills every Easter to celebrate the three-day-long holiday. The activities include paragliding, hiking, carnivals, and street jams. It is a national event where tourists visit to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ.
Easter celebration in Ghana is a pompous event that every Christian celebrates. It is a celebration of how Christ died for the sins of his believers.
Yen.com.gh has a comprehensive list of Inspirational Easter Sunday sermon ideas for your church. Easter Sunday is one of the most anticipated festivities among Christians worldwide aside from Christmas.
It is a commemoration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death as written in the Bible, which offers hope of everlasting life for everyone. It marks the culmination of the Lenten season whereby Christians fast, sacrifice and pray.
Source: Yen Newspaper