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Easter in Africa

Easter in AfricaAfricans for the most part are a very religious group of people, so Easter is an important holiday for almost 70 million Christians that live in Africa. The celebrations start on the proceeding Thursday with several people attending church services daily until Easter Sunday. Orthodox Christianity is practiced for the most part in north and some parts of east Africa . The Coptic (Orthodox) Christians usually observe a 55 day fast that ends on Easter Sunday which varies according to the Coptic solar calendar.Easter Sunday for the most part is celebrated on the same day most of the world celebrates. Easter Sunday starts with church services which can last for several hours. The celebrations continue at home with many families coming together to share large feasts of mostly poultry/fish and to enjoy each other’s company.

North Africa (Egypt) celebrates Sham el Nessim, an ancient celebration which literally means “sniffing the air” on Easter Monday to celebrate the arrival of spring. Families celebrate with outdoor picnics of a wide variety of food particularly a salted fermented fish (fissekh) which can be poisonous if not properly prepared. The traditional preparation of fissekh is often passed down through generations of fissekh makers.