Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.

What is Ceremony, Ritual And Superstition

Ceremony, ritual, superstition, what's the difference.


Throughout Africa, there are clear distinctions between ceremony, ritual, and superstition.


African man talking to a tree in a ritual

What are the differences between African ceremony, ritual and superstition?


What is a ceremony?

Communion, baby naming and circumcision are ceremonies however, a ceremony does not have to be religious in nature; graduation and birthday parties are ceremonies as well. The Macy's Thanksgiving day parade has no room for the spontaneity and disorder that accompany the emotional surrender of a ritual; this is an example of a ceremony. In a ceremony, there is predictability and participants usually know what the outcome will be, most events called rituals are really ceremonies. Friday night pizza with the family is a ceremony; rituals are rarer than we think.


What is a ritual?

A ritual is an activity that has an unplanned spontaneous outcome. The key difference between a ceremony and a ritual is spontaneity. Rituals connect the bodies’ spirit to the ancestors. There are two parts to a ritual, one part is planned a place for a gathering or an event, the other is taken charge of by the energy of the spirits. Ritual allows for loss of control, the place where you surrender your control to the unknown because you trust the leadership of that force. The outcome of a ritual is unpredictable.


What is superstition?

Superstition is the belief and fear of the unknown, an idea of if you do a certain action, bad or good things may happen. It is a common superstition that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck but finding a penny on the ground brings good luck or stepping on a crack will break your mamas back. Superstitions provide the person with a sense of control over the unknown believing if a certain action is taken, following it precisely, you can control the outcome.


Article Summary
Ceremonies are events that are reproducible, predictable and controllable, while rituals call for spontaneous feeling and trust in the outcome. However, a superstition is a belief that the outcome can be controlled however it is not based in reality.


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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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