Ghana Holidays 2013
Originally formed from the merging of the Togoland Trust Territory and the British Colony of Gold Coast, Ghana (or formally known as the Republic of Ghana) is a country located in West Africa. In terms of location, one can find Ghana east of Ivory Coast, west of Togo, south of Burkina Faso and north of the Gulf of Guinea. Ghana is rich with a diversity of ethnic groups, languages and religions. In 1957, the Republic of Ghana became one of the very first African countries to gain their independence. Prior and after gaining their independence, the Ghanaians experienced several coups and state issues, many of which are now commemorated into public holidays. Below are the public Ghana holidays for 2013 and their respective dates.
- January 1, New Year’s Day – New Year’s is considered to be a Christian holiday in Ghana. Since it is a public holiday, many locals in Ghana use New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as the perfect opportunity to bond and relax with the family thru trips to the beach or simple feasts at home. Ghanaians celebrate New Year’s Day in a Western fashion, and that is with fireworks and hearty feasts with friends and family.
- March 6, Independence Day – Every May 6, Ghana will commemorate their Independence Day. It was on this day over 50 years ago when Ghana gained their independence from the rule of the British. Ghana takes pride in their independence considering that they are the first-ever African country to break free from their colonial rulers. Independence Day at Ghana starts off with a national ceremony at the Independence Square, which is then followed by a military parade. Awards and scholarship grants are given on Independence Day as well. All offices and schools are closed during this public holiday.
- March 29, Good Friday – Over 60% of Ghana’s population are Christians. On March 29, 2013, Christians all over Ghana will remember how Jesus Christ died on the cross. Ghanaian families will visit churches to take part in the mass or in prayer vigils. Christians celebrate Good Friday quietly by having simple meals with their families. It is customary for Christians in Ghana to dress in mourning clothes when they visit churches on Good Friday.
- April 1, Easter Monday – Celebrated right after Easter Sunday, Easter Monday is considered to be a big holiday in many Christian countries, especially countries with a heavy Roman Catholic culture influence. Many Ghanaians use Easter Monday as an extra day in their long weekend. Many locals in Ghana return to their homes on Easter Monday after their trips. There are also several Christian Ghanaians who visit their church on Easter Monday.
- May 1, May Day or Labour Day – Labour Day is an annual holiday that is celebrated worldwide, although different countries will celebrate this public holiday on different dates. Labour Day in Ghana will be on the first day of May. Schools, businesses and offices are closed on Labour Day to pay tribute to the hard work exerted by workers or employees.
- May 25, Africa Unity Day – To celebrate the anniversary of the inauguration of the Organization of African Unity or the OAU, many African countries have chosen to make May 25 as a public holiday. The OAU is an organization that aimed to promote the unity, equality and solidarity of many African states.
- July 1, Republic Day – Because of the colonization, Ghana has a bloody and troubling past. To make up for this, Ghana celebrates Republic Day to remember their history and all the honorable people who gave up their lives for their country. During Republic Day Ghanaians will visit their loved ones, join rallies, award ceremonies, and other festivities.
- August 8, Eid ul-Fitr – There are a number of Muslims in Ghana, and it is only customary for Muslims to honor Ramadan. Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. Eid ul-Fitr literally means Feast of Breaking the Fast and Muslims are not allowed to fast on this day. Prayers are offered before Muslims end their fast.
- September 21, Founder’s Day – September 21 was declared as an official public holiday on 2009. This day serves to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana.
- October 15, Eid ul-Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice – Aside from Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims in Ghana also celebrate Eid ul-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice. Muslims remember the ultimate sacrifice performed by Abraham when he gave up his first-born son to God. The celebration for the Eid ul-Adha will take four days.
- December 2, Farmer’s Day – It is during Farmer’s Day when the people of Ghana honor the hard work exerted by fishermen and farmers. An award giving ceremony is held as grants are passed on to farmers who performed an excellent job during the past year.
- December 25, Christmas Day – People from all over the globe celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25. Ghanaians celebrate Christmas Day the traditional way, with praise songs, feasts and church ceremonies. Of the late the commercialism of Christmas has found its way to Ghana. Many rich and elite Ghanaian families decorate their houses with a well-adorned Christmas tree, electric Christmas lights and large feasts with lavish food. There are even some non-Christian Ghanaians, like those with African religions, who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
- December 26, Boxing Day – Countries that were once or are under the British rule celebrate Boxing Day on December 26. Gifts are placed inside boxes and are given to the less fortunate on Boxing Day. This is also the day when employers will give away food for their workers.