In many countries of the world, the celebration of Christmas on December 25th is a high point of the year. Christmas is a time of joy and merrymaking. Over the past years, Christmas in Ghana has been characterized by lots of colour, fun and excitement with various elements.
These days, although the fun and excitement still remain, many of the old elements are either diminishing or going extinct. Let’s have a look at some key Christmas elements in Ghana that have changed over the years.
This was probably the most interesting element of Christmas in Ghana back then. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, masquerades were very dominant features of Christmas-masked clowns usually standing on very high stilts paraded the streets almost every day collecting items and money while dancing and creating fun for kids and many other onlookers. A lot of these children were also scared of these funny looking men. These days, masquerades are not really existent and even where they are found, they do not have as much impact as they used to.
Firecrackers, also known in Ghana as “Knockouts or Tunte” was the children’s favourite. There can be no Christmas in Ghana without the cacophony of “knockouts”. These interesting Christmas elements came in many forms such as rockets, bangers and sparklers. Kids found it amusing to light these firecrackers and watch them go off in style amid very ear kicking noise.
Nowadays, this is on the decline. There are strict regulations that restrict the importation and production of these firecrackers as a result of increased injuries and crime. Although a few foreigners still bring firecrackers to Ghana, the ones that are widely still seen around are the rocket types which are used to usher in the new year and at weddings and other functions.
From November onwards, it was impossible to forget that Christmas was coming. Brightly coloured lights illuminated many town centres and shops, along with shiny decorations.
In streets and shops, ‘Christmas trees’ were also decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments. Most of these trees were cut from conifer trees from friends and neighbours homes. Back in the day, this was the perfect scenery for Christmas. These days, decorations still exist but are very minimal. They are either done mainly in homes and offices or at events. The streets and shops are no more “painted” with shiny and colourful decorations anymore.
Travelling to Hometowns
Christmas is a time when many Ghanaians who haven’t been back home to their villages and hometowns travel to be with family and friends. Most people who travelled to big cities for greener pastures or financial upliftment love to come back home to spend time with family and old friends. They also come back with many goodies such as food, sweets, mobile phones and other technologies that cannot be found in those villages. The widely acknowledged day in Ghana for these travels is 24th December. The day when people pack bags and go back home for Christmas.
Credit: Jovago.com (Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!!!)