December in Ghana: Places To Experience A Ghanaian Christmas
December 22, 2022
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December in Ghana: Places To Experience A Ghanaian Christmas. Christmas has always been a time of year to remember Jesus Christ’s birth. It is a pillar of mainstream Christianity and represents hope, peace, and joy to Christians all over the world.
The season has become significant for non-Christians as well over time. Families gather to toast the year’s end by exchanging gifts and enjoying special meals.
For others, it is a time of reflection and preparation for the coming year. Christmas in Ghana is characterized by crowded shopping malls and markets, traffic jams, and an onslaught of visitors and events.
The Ghanaian government launched the Year of Return project in 2019, inviting the Global African family, both at home and abroad, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.
Thousands of people arrived in the country during this time period, earning Ghana the title of December Destination for Black People in the Diaspora.
This is not surprising given that Ghana has a lot to offer in December. Here are a few places to visit in Ghana during the holidays:
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Accra is Ghana’s capital and the epicenter of everything. There is never a shortage of activities and events to attend from January 1st to December 31st. These events and activities multiply exponentially in December, making it nearly impossible to be bored.
There is an endless list of concerts, parties, and festivals to attend, ranging from Afrochella to Wildaland. There is also a long list of tourist attractions to visit, such as Christianborg Castle, James Town, The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and others. Accra is one of the best places to be for a truly Ghanaian Christmas, with impressive restaurants and eateries around every corner.
Takoradi, in Ghana’s former Western Region, is the birthplace of highlife music. Some have compared it to the New Orleans of Ghana because of its rich musical and colonial history. Tourists can also go surfing or visit the oil rigs at Cape Three Points, which is located at the western end of the Gulf of Guinea.
The city is also well-known for its annual December masquerade carnival, dubbed the Ankos Festival. Troops dress up in bright costumes and parade through the streets to the sounds of brass bands playing highlife music, displaying various arts through dance, formation, and music. The festival, which is popular with both locals and tourists, is usually held from the 24th to the 26th of December.
There will also be smaller pockets of festivities throughout the city until January 1st. A similar event takes place in Winneba, a beach town 170 kilometers from Takoradi. Every year, the Fancy Dress Festival (known locally as Kakamotobi) takes place between Christmas and the first of January.
A trip to Ghana is never complete unless you visit Cape Coast. The town, with its sandy beaches and towering castles, is home to a significant portion of Ghana’s colonial history. The Elmina castle, in the neighboring town of Elmina, is also a popular tourist attraction all year.
The Edina Bronya Festival, on the other hand, is the highlight of the holiday season. The Elmina Christmas Festival dates back to 1627 after the Portuguese were defeated by the Dutch. Every year on the first Thursday of January, the chiefs and peoples of Elmina celebrate an annual harvest festival. Families and friends gather to celebrate by making merry and eating.
The Paramount Chief fires shots at midnight on the eve of the festival to usher in the New Year. The following day, the Paramount Chief rides in a palanquin in front of the Elmina castle, and various rites are performed. All of the locations mentioned above are in southern Ghana.
In subsequent posts, we’ll travel to other Christmas destinations across the country. As new bee variants of the Covid-19 pandemic emerge, we recommend that you continue to wear your nose mask, carry hand sanitizer, and get vaccinated if you haven’t already.