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
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
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. 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.