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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter in Nigeria


As part of the Easter Around the World series, I decided to take a look at Easter in Nigeria. Unfortunately I had no luck finding books that included Easter celebrations in Nigeria. We did find several books about Nigeria and stories from Nigeria however. Hazel was very excited to read books about Nigeria since one of her good friends is from Nigeria. I also happen to be good friends with her mother so I asked her for help. 

Nigeria


 Nigeria is a country on the western coast of Africa. It is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh in the world. It has over 500 different ethnic groups and its population is about 40% Christian. Mostly it is Muslim in the north and Christian in the south. Its official language is English, and there are more than 500 different languages spoken there. In the north there are savannahs and in the south there are tropical rain forests. Nigeria has quite a mix of climates, people and cultures. (Source)

In Nigeria there are no Easter Bunny and egg hunts. Easter is a four day holiday starting on Good Friday and going through Easter Monday. The holiday is about the celebration of God's gift of washing away our sins and spending time with families. 

Good Friday

Catedral Nacional em Abuja, Nigéria
National Cathedral in Abuja, Nigeria By Moises.
on [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Good Friday is a somber day in Nigeria and most Christians there spend it by going to church and limiting their food. Dairy foods and flesh meats (beef, pork, goat) are strictly forbidden on Good Friday. My friend remembers having a coconut bean soup called frejon on Good Friday when she was growing up. Frejon was often eaten with fried fish or peppered snails.  While doing a little research on-line I discovered that frejon is actually from a Portuguese word (feijão which means beans) and came to Nigeria via Brazil after the end of slavery. (Source)  I also found a recipe at Avartsy Cooking.
Frejon -- a picture my friend sent me, but I think she got it from here.
 Another Good Friday memory of my friend is of mingau. Mingau is a tapioca, coconut milk, and clove drink that can be topped with cinnamon and coconut shavings. Again with some research I discovered this has ties to Brazil. I found the information and a recipe on Spice Baby. For more ideas of what Nigerians eat for Good Friday check out Nigerian Food TV for pictures and recipes.

Easter


Nigeria Reformed Church Onuenyim Iseke
Nigeria Reformed Church Onuenyim Iseke By E Kolk95 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
On Easter Sunday the mood changes. People are ready to celebrate. Most Christians attend church and then move into the streets where there is dancing and beating of drums. I even read about some masquerades and colorful costumes. (Source) My friend confirmed this and also stated that Easter is almost as big as Christmas in Nigeria. Families usually gather together and have a dinner after church which includes all the foods they couldn't eat during Lent (dairies and flesh meats). She sent me this collage from Nigerian Food TV saying it was a typical Easter meal.
Typical Easter Meal from Nigerian Food TV
 It includes 1) Nigerian Fried Rice with Chicken Fillets  2) Fondant Cake 3) Ofada Stew (aka Ayamase) and 4) Vegetable & Prawn Stir Fry for Jollof Rice, Plantains & More. Here is a link to even more Easter recipes on Nigerian Food TV

Easter seems to be very different in Nigeria from the United States. My friend did say that people who have lived other places where there is the Easter Bunny and egg hunts often still try to do that for their children in Nigeria. Be sure to check out our posts on Easter in Australia, Easter in Germany, Hungary Norway & Poland Easter in the Philippines, Easter in France, Spain and Portugal, Easter in Ukraine and Russia, Easter in Ethiopia, Easter in SwedenEaster in Guatemala, and my Easter Around the World Round-Up

Series on Easter around the world 

Explore the diverse traditions of Easter around the world with us, and don't miss our series from last year and this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. You can also find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board: Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs's board Easter Around the World on Pinterest.
March 21 Kori at Home
March 24 Hispanic Mama