Holidays And Their Significance In Ghana
GHANAIANS celebrate a variety of national holidays throughout the year. Ghanaian holidays can be secular, religious, continental, international, or uniquely Ghanaian such as traditional festivals and occasions where the beauty of our culture is displayed.
ON the average, Ghana celebrates about 13 holidays every year. These are without the Saturdays and Sundays which are statutory weekends respected across the country and perhaps the world over; thus on the average there are 52 weekends which add up to 104 days of rest for the Ghanaian worker.
THE 104 days and the official 13 holidays which observance is shifted to weekdays even when they fall on weekends mean that Ghanaians spend close to half of the year as holidays and therefore there is either little or no productivity on these days. The common saying that ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’ brings in the argument that there is the need for rest after a hard five days of work.
“REST is a period of inactivity during which the faculties can restore expended nerve energy. When we create wastes faster than our body can eliminate them and deplete our energies faster than our faculties can restore them, a period of inactivity enables the body to catch up on its homework. Physical and mental inactivity can be called rest,” the experts explain.
HOWEVER, the questions as to whether Ghanaians rest on these holidays leave much to be desired. The many activities that are attended by the Ghanaian on such holidays stress the body more than what we suffer from work; it is certainly becoming a norm in the country that partying and beaching are shifted to holidays.
EXPERIENCE has shown that a number of companies do not function effectively as they should on days after holidays since majority of their workforce report to work tired or absent themselves on such days. Some even take more than one week to reach the required production pattern after a holiday.
THERE are more than enough chronicles of the number of people that have lost their lives on supposedly holy-days which observance should have been in a sober and reflective mood. It is simply uncountable the number of people who have tragically perished on such days, thus rendering meaningless the day.
WITH the understanding of holiday eroding from the Ghanaian society, it is only imperative that the young and the ignorant alike are educated on the significance of such days. They must be told that these are times of joy, regrouping, joining force and uniting as one people in one nation.
THESE are occasions to throw aside our ethnic, religious and political shades and see only Ghana and Ghanaians. We must go back to our roots as traditional Africans where our ancestors set aside days of rest from work to relax the body instead of going on a drinking spree in their communities.