People in Ghana celebrate Christmas from the 20th of December to first week in January with lots of different activities. Many people travel to visit their relatives and friends in other parts of the country. In the MTC, the manager and his family have gone back to their home country of Nigeria to visit family. Everyone of the teachers is planning to visit relatives on Christmas Day.
Over 66 languages are spoken in Ghana and all these language groups have their own traditions and customs December is also the start of the cocoa harvest (the bean that is used to make chocolate) in Ghana. Ghana is the worlds second biggest cocoa producer.
Christmas Eve night is the time when the celebrations really start with Church services that have drumming and dancing. Children often put on a Nativity Play. Then choirs come out to sing and people come out in front of their religious leaders to dance. Songs are mostly sung in the languages that the people understand best because they feel that Heavenly Father speaks their language. (That is why we sing in French in the MTC - grin). Sometimes these services and dancing go on all night long!
Other people celebrate Christmas Eve with fireworks and parties.
On Christmas day the Churches are very full. People come out dressed in their colorful traditional clothes. After the Church service on Christmas morning, people quickly go back to their houses to start giving and receiving gifts.
Traditional food includes stew or okra soup, porridge and meats rice and a yam paste called 'fufu'.
Some Ghanaians also go to Church on the 31st December to thank the Lord for sending Jesus and to pray for a good and safe New Year. People may also use that time to remember those who died during the previous year and to pray that the difficulties that they faced the past year will not carry over over into the New Year.