Tuesday, April 07, 2015

A quieter Easter Monday...

Easter Monday in Sierra Leone is a public holiday and generally one of the busiest, craziest days of the year. I think it's equal only to Boxing day (December 26th) as far as massive treks to the beach and possibly New Year's Eve and the Sierra Leone Independence Day (April 27th) celebrations. 

Usually the day is marked with devil parades in the streets of Freetown. It is generally not a nice atmosphere since the devils can be somewhat daunting and slightly aggressive in their approach. It's a combination of people singing, running, and dancing down the street, often combined with a lot of alcohol, and slight aggressiveness. The devil and his helpers force people to give money or make their followers bow down at certain points of time. The whole scene is a bit upsetting to watch to be honest with you. About 10 years ago I was once caught in the middle of a so called devil parade in the Eastern part of Freetown and it was a scary experience with drunk men climbing on our cars and not letting us proceed. We finally managed to get away from them and had to take a long detour to go home. All this to say, I do not like devil parades and am thankful that this year they did not take place. That is one of the few positive side effects of Ebola. No mass gatherings means no devil parades. I am not complaining about that.

The other most notable difference is that people are not allowed to gather at the beach. Today is usually the busiest day on the beach, Lumley beach in particular is usually packed, and today was probably one of the quietist days at the beach ever. I went to Lumley beach last year on Easter Monday and it was the busiest I had ever seen the beach. I guess today people found other ways to spend time with their family and friends. 

Anyway, for me it was just another day at work and thankfully a more peaceful day than it could have been. I was thankful that there was no traffic going home, no disruptive devil parades, and no noisy neighborhoods. I can't complain. 

1 comment:

TylerA2016 said...

Have you ever experienced the lantern festival in freetown? If so do you beleive that it is the strongest event of cultural expression?

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~