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Easter Celebrations in Africa

In Africa, Easter is celebrated as a main function of the Christian communities. In the Easter Vigil hundreds of people assemble in the church building.

Easter in AfricaIn most parish churches the Easter Vigil is anticipated, because there are no lights, usually beginning at 3pm and finishing at dark, around 6pm.

The church is decorated by Vitenge and Kanga, clothes made up in the form of butterflies, flowers, banana trees etc.

Christian hymns are accompanied by the beating of drums and Kigelegele, the high-pitched sounds made by women.

After the Mass, traditional dances are held outside of the church. Then people return home to continue their celebrations with local food and drinks.

In some parishes the people remain around the church after Mass and sit in their small Christian communities to continue the celebration of eating and drinking, as ceremonial dances and entertainments continue around them.

In Africa, Easter has a social dimension as well as a spiritual one. At Easter families come together. They share special food with Christians and non-Christians indulging in boiled or roasted rice with meat or chicken.

Meat being very scarce and expensive in Africa, the laws of abstinence (not eating meat) does not hold good.

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