With over 70 million Christians in Africa, Easter is an important holiday that is celebrated in a number of countries.
Every year, Easter Vigil starts on the preceding Thursday and involves a daily ritual of prayer and song lasting from 3-6 PM. Churches are decorated with butterflies, banana tree art, and Kanga cloth while Christian hymns are sung to the beating of African drums.
In most parish churches the Easter Vigil is anticipated, because there are no lights, usually beginning at 3pm and finishing at dark, around 6pm.
In Ethiopia, Easter or "Fasika" is one of the most revered holidays and is celebrated after 56 day period of fasting where no meat or animal products of any kind are consumed.
After Easter mass, celebrants partake in dances and lavish meals. Both Christians and non-Christians come together to indulge in roasted chicken, goat, and rice dishes. Despite Easter being a religious holiday, it is also regarded as a time of social communion.
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.
Easter is also celebrated through local artwork, and we are proud to carry many fair trade, African Easter products. For instance, this is a solid-soapstone egg from Kenya:
These hand-carved soapstone Easter eggs from Kenya are presented in a banana fiber box:
Angels and doves are also prominent Easter themes, such as these delicate dove ornaments made from sisal and banana fiber:
Wherever your location or religious affiliation is, we wish you a happy Easter season and spring! Thank you for reading and supporting fair trade in Africa.