Ghana's lavish funerals can last up to seven days. Now, a centuries-old tradition has gone online

Mourners at the burial of Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary General of United Nations Kofi Annan who died on August 18 2018.

Accra, Ghana (CNN)Funerals are a big deal in Ghana and it is not uncommon, in some parts, for a ceremony to last up to seven days, drawing thousands of crowds adorned in flowing red and black robes and gold jewelry.

Some families even hire professional mourners to cry at the funeral of their loved one because "it serves as a reward to the person who has died," says Adwoa Yeboah Agyei, who owns The Funeral Shop and Services, a franchise with locations across Accra.
Ghanaian funerals are heavily symbolic and rituals involved include giving offerings to the spirits of the ancestors and loud traditional dancing and drumming to accompany the dead on their journey.

    Anguished families

    But a centuries-old tradition has come to a halt.
    Since Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo suspended all public gatherings in mid-March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, burials have been limited to no more than 25 people in the West African nation.
    Obed Ampadu-Asiamah's 73-year-old father, Daniel, passed away soon after the announcement following complications from a stroke.
    Obed has been scrambling to make painful phone calls send notices informing attendees he could only i