How to Celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Ghana

A group of happy muslim kids
A group of happy muslim kids | © Nora Morgan / Flickr
Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the completion of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer. In Ghana, Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday to be celebrated on June 15. Read on to find out how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Ghana.

After the Islamic month of Ramadan, many Muslims in Ghana attend communal prayers, spend time with family and friends and give zakat al-fitr or charity.

Visit the Larabanga Mosque

Arab merchants who travelled through the trans-Saharan salt and gold trade routes introduced Islam to West Africans. Larabanga is one popular structure which came out of this exchange; Ghana’s oldest mosque constructed in a 17th century Sudanese-style and made with packed earth, with horizontal timber jutting out of its construction, triangular cuts in the walls, and pyramidal towers. Visit Larabanga during Eid al-Fitr not only because it is one of Ghana’s most revered religious sites, but also due to the fact it has always been a national Muslim pilgrimage site.

The Larabanga Mosque © bagaball / Flickr

Mingle in a Zongo Community

Ghana’s Muslim community leaders disagreed with the 2010 census figures which stated that 17 per cent of Ghanaians are Muslim. The correct figure is believed to be somewhere between 30 and 45 per cent Muslims in Ghana.

Northern Ghana and Zongo communities in every region in the country are the main residential locations for Ghanaians practicing the religion. Zongo is a colony formed by settlers usually from Sahelian areas of West Africa. The oldest and largest Zongo in Ghana can be found in Kumasi.

Celebrate Eid al-Fitr at Mole National Park

Natural Feature, Park
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Meet the elephants of Mole | Meet the elephants of Mole
Tamale’s population is largely Muslim, and as such Eid al-Fitr is observed in the busy city centres as well as the calm outskirts. Mole National Park’s open savannah and accessible wildlife fields are great spots to enjoy some peace and tranquility. The 4,912km² reserve area of Mole is home to large mammals, reptiles, birds and rare vegetation. Flights and buses run the Accra–Tamale route daily. If you’re not driving, taxi cabs and buses load from the Metro Mass Station to Larabanga, the gateway town to Mole. Backpacking is fun from the famous ancient mosque to Mole National Park, where they serve warm continental food. The Jeep Safari is an interesting experience that goes through the forest. Hiking, especially in the morning at Mole is when you find bushbucks, elephants, and warthogs up close. Another fun thing to do is the canoe safari near the Mognori village. Mole incorporates villages and farming communities as part of its inclusive sustainable tourism program. In the evenings, the sunsets and sky full of stars are some of the most spectacular things.
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Learn about Muslim Representative Council

The Muslim Representative Council is an Islamic administrative body that represents Muslim social and economic interests. The body also organises means for annual pilgrimages.

The cutest group of happy Muslim kids © Nora Morgan / Flickr

Volunteer for the Islamic Bureau for the Disabled

Islamic Bureau for the Disabled and Service to Islamic Institutions is a non-governmental project based in Accra, Ghana, with the goal of improving the quality of life of people with disabilities regardless of their background or religion. The institution enables the space to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the true spirit of Islam.

Pray at the central mosques

Ghana’s central mosques have spacious and clean interiors and breathtaking architecture. The two main mosques in Accra include one situated at Abbosey Okai, and another almost completed at Kanda, which looks a bit like the Grand Mosque of Istanbul. Kumasi Central Mosque can be located on the Yaa Asantewa Road. A large section of Ghana’s Muslim worshippers gather in the mosques to listen to khutba (sermon) during Eid al-Fitr.

Kumasi Central Mosque © Torsten Matzak / Flickr

Allabar Women’s Islamic School

Eid is a great time to show Muslim solidarity. With or without formal education, one can attend or visit this school founded by the wife of an Islamic teacher in their home and situated in one of Kumasi’s oldest Muslim settlements. Currently, the school gets no government support but offers Arabic, English, math and science classes, taught by Muslim and non-Muslim teachers and mostly attended part-time by married women.