Monday, December 8, 2014

Day 5: Ghana

A village in Ghana
From the land of Serbia we're heading to Ghana, where Christmas is celebrated for almost two whole weeks! The celebration starts on December 20 and goes until the first week of January, and lots of different activities happen during those two weeks.

Many people travel to visit their friends and family in other parts of the country. There are over 80 languages spoken in Ghana, and many of these language groups have their own Christmas traditions. But the night of Christmas Eve is when the celebration really starts. Church services are held, and there is lots of drumming and dancing. Kids often put together a skit about the nativity story, and choirs sing special songs. These songs are usually sung in languages that people understand best (their mother tongue). Sometimes these services can last the entire night.

Ghana girls in traditional clothes
On Christmas Day people come back to church dressed in their bright traditional clothes that are often made from kente cloth. After the service is over, they go back to their houses and exchange gifts. They also have traditional foods they eat like stew or okra soup, porridge, meat, rice, and a yam paste called fufu.

Sometimes people also go to church on December 31st to thank God for sending Jesus and to pray for a good New Year. They might also remember their loved ones who died that year, praying that the troubles and difficulties they had this year won't happen in the New Year. Like many people in Ghana, let's remember to keep Jesus at the center of our celebrations.

Fun Facts: 
Cocoa Beans
*December is an important month in Ghana because it's the start of the cocoa harvest. Did you know that Ghana is the second biggest cocoa producer in the world?
*Sometimes people celebrate Christmas Eve by setting off fireworks. Why don't we do that here?
*Kente cloth is a traditional fabric worn in many parts of Ghana. It's beautiful and bright, and it's become an icon of African cultural heritage around the world. Kente cloth is often known by its multicolored patterns, geometric shapes and bold designs.

*All of the above information has been taken from the Wycliffe-created characters, Kate and Mack. If you would like to sign up for more children activities or learn about the book they feature in (Around the World with Kate and Mack), click on this link:

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