Culture of Decoration Day in Liberia

March 2015

There are two National Holidays in March in Liberia. The first is Decoration Day (the second Wednesday in March) and the second is J.J. Roberts Birthday (the 15th of March). The former is usually commemorated in different styles but with the same purpose. Some celebrants usually used this day to merry make in happiness when decorating their people’s graves. Most of these people in such emotional mood are often energized with alcoholic drinks. On the other hand, some people often cry as a sign of sorrow for their lost ones as they sing spiritual songs.

Decoration day Liberia2

Regrettably, the day is most times marked with violent clashes among celebrants at many grave sites. The fighting often derives when more than one family are claiming a grave. To minimize such ugly acts among peaceful people, especially when the memory of the ebola virus outbreak is still fresh, the authority of the Liberian National Police on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, deployed officers at various grave sites in the country. Though there were reports of few disturbances in some areas, things did not run out of hands as the police managed to put the situations under control.

Interestingly, while other people were decorating graves in tears and happiness, some business people often used the opportunities to make money. Some grave sites practically turns into market ground. They sell variety of goods: apples, whitewash, soft drinks, milk, and cutlasses among others.

Decoration Day Liberia

Whatever the case, this year Decoration Day added a new ways of decoration in the history of Liberia as many mass graves of ebola dead bodies were jointly remembered by the government of Liberia, humanitarian organizations, and family members; it was exceedingly sorrowful to see but no one has control over such situation. All that Liberians need to do is to use these ugly situations to unite themselves and battle potential outbreaks.