Customs and traditions
In the Gabonese countryside many older customs are still alive. There are also traditional dance ceremonies in addition to the national holidays. In the capital, Libreville, Western – mostly French – influences are increasing.
How to greet and dress
When greeting someone for the first time, they often shake hands formally. Friends kiss each other on the cheek.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Gabon, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
In the countryside most of them wear traditional clothing: a kind of long shirt with wide sleeves called boubou. For this, the men have wide, matching pants. Women instead wrap a so-called pagne on the hips (a colorful fabric ham). Even in the cities many people dress in boubou but usually western clothing is also. The women often wear modern dresses and skirts but in traditional African colors.
What you eat
The basis of the Gabonese diet is roots from cassava and cassava, which does not contain much nutrition but saturates well. To this is added fruits such as various kinds of bananas, papaya, pineapple, guava and mango or vegetables such as cassava leaves, avocado, eggplant, corn and tomatoes; coconut and peanuts are also used. Protein is obtained from what men can catch or hunt: fish from the sea and rivers, meat from monkeys, pangolin (a small crocodile-like animal) and gazelles; sometimes you eat chicken. In cities like Libreville, Western, often French-inspired food is increasingly found, and much of it has to be imported. The main goal is taken in the middle of the day; in the evening you eat a smaller meal, most leftovers.
National symbols and holidays
According to Abbreviationfinder, Gabon’s flag consists of three horizontal stripes, where the green symbolizes the forests, the yellow sun and the blue water. The forest and all its animals are also depicted on the Gabonese coins.
The national anthem, La Concorde (The Unity), is of course played on National Day (Independence Day, August 17), which is celebrated with parades and speeches. According to Countryaah, other holidays are Women’s Day April 17, May 1, Marie Ascension August 15, All Saints Day November 1. They celebrate Christmas and New Year, Easter and Pentecost, moreover, the Muslim holidays id al-fitr (after the fasting month of Ramadan) and id al-adha (after the pilgrimage to Mecca, hajj).
Alongside these holidays, traditional ceremonies, bwiti, are held to honor deceased relatives. They are led by a medicine man, nganga, and take place in special wooden temples. Participants dress in colorful costumes and paint the faces white. In connection with such ceremonies, which can last all night and where both women and men dance and sing to the accompaniment of drums, food and drinks such as palm or sugar cane are also served to the ancestors. Along with the wine you often take a hallucinogenic root, ebook, which is said to “see your ancestors”. There are also initiation rites as well as ceremonies to celebrate a child’s birth or discourage evil spirits.
New Prime Minister
Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba resigns and is replaced by MP Raymond Ndong Sima. The election of a new head of government is a bit surprising, since Ndong Sima has not been a prominent politician.