This blog covers the years 2014-2016 when we (the Robisons) were at the Ghana MTC. To see the blog covering the period 2016-2018 click on this link:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Traditons in Cote D'Ivoire, Benin and Togo

Learning English in the Ghana MTC are two districts.  One group is from Madagascar and the other from Cote d'Ivoire.  What is Christmas like in Cote d'Ivoire or in Benin, where some of them come from.

In Côte d’Ivoire and Benin, like in Ghana, Christmas celebrations mostly focus on the religious aspects of the holiday.  The commercialization is often absent.

The Ivorian Christmas is described as “discrete” by rural church representatives.  Midnight Mass is central to the Christmas celebration, and those who can afford to gather family for a holiday feast.

In Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire , Christmas is mostly a time when Ivorian youth indulge in heavy partying.  In the past people would return to their village to spend Christmas and the New Year with family.  Today, celebrations have become more urban.  On December 25th and on January 1st, familes who are in the same city gather at the home of an elder to eat and drink.  During the season when partying, the youth spend most of their time in bars without roofs called “maquis” and in night clubs.

Religious sermons dominate Christmas celebrations in Benin.  Some villages include dancing and masquerade parties similar to Nigeria.

Over 40% of the people in Togo are Christians.  French Christmas traditions are common.  Unlike other West African countries, Santa Claus and Christmas trees have become part of tradition.  Only Christmas dishes remain Togolese.

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