Usually, in South Africa, people eat traditional Christmas meals which include mince pies, yellow rice, turkey, suckling pig, etc. With the traditional touch, each African country has its handmade decorative items. Christmas in Kenya is considered a public holiday. A. BBC Africa visited schools in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania to find out … In Africa, Christmas is more than just a holiday and we celebrate it with passion. You will barely see any Christmas trees or fancy Christmas lights. Then the people sing Christmas carolsfollowed by the Christmas dinner. Palm trees are also ideal for decorating with lanterns and bells. Burundians celebrate Christmas because, like Ugandans and to some extent Kenyans, they love partying at the first opportunity that presents itself but also because the population is largely Christian. So instead of Merry Christmas, you can say "Joyeux Noël" which is the most popular way of saying Merry Christmas in French. To those of you that don’t know, South Africa is a country that falls in the Southern Hemisphere, which means, we celebrate Christmas in summer. There are no Christmas dinners or reading of Christmas stories. Yes, it is true there is no snow for Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and Santa Claus to travel on but that does not mean Christmas is dead in Africa. all celebrate christmas in their own special ways. Matooke is an essential ingredient in the meals as in indigenous fruit that is steamed and mashed.Interestingly, children of Uganda don’t believe in Santa Claus, which is why they never expect gifts. Instead, flowers are in full bloom, beautiful butterflies, bees and other insects are abundant, and the sun is always shining. Christmas, Tanzania-style Nearly one-third of Tanzanians are Christian, so Christmas in Tanzania is a big deal – but it’s not so much about the buy buy buy frenzy that occurs elsewhere. MadagascarThe African Christmas tradition in Madagascar is more traditional than in South Africa. Two chimpanzees have fun on African Christmas party in a rainforest. So, when African people decorate trees during this period, they are sending regards to ancient times when Ra’s birthday was celebrated. After visiting the church, the celebration starts with a traditional Christmas dinner party. COURTESY. The supper is usually served with lamb or sheep. Christmas Day in South Africa is celebrated on December 25th each year and celebrates the birth of Jesus. Although the majority of the continent cannot afford a luxury lifestyle, gifting remains a common tradition. That is not to say Christmas is taken for granted in Africa. That means that January 5th was celebrated just as much as Once again, that depends on where you go in Africa on Christmas day. Senegal does celebrate Christmas despite being a Muslim dominated country. Ashanti is not the only native language spoken in Ghana. In fact, the local "palm wine" replaces fanta, coca cola, and most other foreign drinks on Christmas day in my Community. What is Africa’s Christmas traditions? Christmas is often associated with North America and European countries showcasing glowing Christmas light shows, winter markets, parades, and picturesque views of snow-capped mountains. Christians, Muslims, Traditional worshippers, etc. DinnerChristmas dinner is a perfect opportunity for family gatherings, so African communities take it very seriously. The date is traditional and is not considered to be the actual date of his birth. This means, you get your presents on time. Christmas is a holiday filled with good cheer, joyful decorations, and time with family and friends. Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday? On Christmas Day carols are sung from Ghana to South Africa. Christmas on the African continent is festive, colorful and loud! For the season, here you can get a window in to the Christmas traditions observed in … However, you may be surprised to hear "Afishapa" which is just another way of saying "Merry Christmas" in Ghana. Turn on the TV or the radio, and you will not find Christmas programs. To begin, yes, Africans celebrate Christmas and yes, we love Christmas. Several injured in sydney ballon accident A balloon drop at Westfield Parramatta mall in Sydney went awry, when several people were injured in the chaos. Just as turkey reigns supreme during Thanksgiving in America, so chicken conquers all other favorites during Christmas period in my community in Africa. Do Africans celebrate Christmas? Why Experience an African Christmas?Have you ever thought of experiencing an African Christmas? In the Muslim world, Christmas is not celebrated publicly, except in the minority Christian communities in the Middle East, but in North Africa – none at all. However, in many countries the celebration is very different than it is in North America or Europe. We celebrate Christmas in a whole new style. Yes, it is true there is no snow for Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and Santa Claus to travel on but that does not mean Christmas is dead in Africa. You can see a list of the most popular Nigerian food during the festive season.Community service is also a considerable part of an African Christmas in Nigeria. If you’re spending Christmas in Ethiopia, you’ll have to wait a little longer than December 25, as most people follow the ancient Julian calendar and celebrate the holiday on January 7. Church. in Ethiopia which is just another way of saying Merry Christmas in the Amharic language. For example, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are Anglophone (English-speaking) countries. Well, that is a very big question. Unlike Santa, Father Christmas can travel even on horses and horses are way faster than reindeers. African Christmas traditions by countrySouth Africa South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, so the country celebrates Christmas during the hot summertime of the year. The US, perceived to be one of the world’s major democracies saw that stand tested on January 6 after pro-Trump supporters breached Capitol... How boxers have been sucked into the ‘dirty game’, US ‘troubled’ at Uganda closing civic space, Short on alternatives, fans trash Twitter's Trump ban - on Twitter, Police arrest FDC’s Amuriat in Mpigi town, Minister Karooro tells US to stop preaching democracy to Ugandans. Q. Catholics receive blessing during last years’s Christmas prayers at Rubaga Cathedral. Although these countries do not celebrate Christmas in a conventional like in the United States or Europe, the unique and distinct differences are worth noting. Unlike other parts of the world, there is no room for a cold, snowy Christmas in South Africa. We inherited most of our traditions from other countries, including the USA and UK. To a white Afrikaner in South Africa or Namibia, you can say "Geseënde Kersfees" which is simply "Merry Christmas" in Afrikaans. Christmas is celebrated throughout Africa and it is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas in South Africa and Namibia. Either way, Christmas is a time for family and merrymaking. Festivities are marked with many decorations. There are dance and singing performances, competitions and football matches all over the city. It is a gift every kid in my community receives from his or her parents whether rich or poor. Also, most restaurants and shops will be closed since it is a national holiday, so most people do grocery shopping well in advance. How do you say "Merry Christmas" in Africa? Enobong Paulinus Udoidiong - Rome, Italy. South Africa is a country with a great affinity for outdoor activities, so it’s no surprise that thousands of people celebrate the holiday season with visits to Kruger National Park. The numbers of customers on Christmas Eve have increased in shops. In fact, Santa Claus would be jobless in my community in Africa because our "Father Christmas" does not need snow to travel. What do Africans eat on Christmas? Boko Haram A number of Christians in a camp for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri north eastern Nigeria gathered to celebrate Christmas despite their woes. To define South African Christmas traditions are hard, because of our diversity as a nation, every race has it’s own ways in which they celebrate Christmas. If this statement sparks your interest, you are in the right place. These people like to have dinner on 25th of December and 24th of December. Ugandan traditionsThe proper name for Christmas in Uganda is Sekukkulu. In traditional churches in Nigeria, the church go on a short trip as a way to replicate the visit of the wise men. How do Africans celebrate Christmas? They even decorate mosques with Christmas trees. There are no Christmas trees or decorations. Among the Fulani-speaking people of Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Togo, Guinea and Sierra Leone, you may hear "Jabbama be salla Kirismati" which is the most popular way of saying "Merry Christmas" in Fulani. Among the Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin, you may hear "E ku odun, e ku iye'dun" which is just another way of saying "Merry Christmas" in Yoruba. South Africans celebrate Christmas a bit differently in South Africa from other parts of the world, but the celebrations and festive spirit is similar.In short, Christmas in South Africa is all about the outdoors, food, friends and family. Other activities during love feast include singing, dancing, Bible recitation. With more than 350 million Christians living in the continent, many Southern and West African countries celebrate Christmas with massive festivities, even those that are predominantly Muslim.Although these countries do not celebrate Christmas in a conventional like in the United States or Europe, the unique and distinct differences are worth noting. The church ceremonies consist of carols, nativity play, and dance performances.In some countries like Malawi, children dance and sing while other children play traditional instruments. In my community, Christmas is so special to us because it is one of very few holidays we get in a year. In other words, English is the official language in these 5 countries so it is not surprising to hear "Merry Christmas" anywhere in these 5 countries. Ghanaians however do not celebrate christmas any differently from the rest of the world although there are a few noticeable differences. No matter how inexpensive a gift item is, everyone has to participate.You exchange your wrapped gift with your church family and friends and establish new friendships during the process. They also provide emergency food and essentials to hungry children and their families during the Christmas season. People who live in rural areas try their best with the available resources like food and electricity to be part of the Christmas celebration. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI. Decor. It is the duty of every family to make Christmas joyous and it is the responsibility of every parent to buy "Christmas gifts" for their children. What makes Christmas so special? Also Among the Igbo-speaking people of Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, you may hear "E keresimesi Oma" which is just another way of saying "Merry Christmas" in the Igbo language. In Africa, Christmas is more than just a holiday and we celebrate it with passion. In Nigeria, you may also hear "Iselogbe" which is just another way of sayin Merry Christmas in the Edo language. DecorationsWho needs snow for Christmas decorations? In the Ugandan cities, the churches became the centre of the celebrations with church bells and carols by candlelight. Wherever the Gregorian calendar is used, New Year's Eve falls on December 31. Compared to the previous countries on the list, Chad has the least westernised Christmas traditions. Keep on reading!Since every African country has a distinct way of celebrating Christmas, let us take a closer look at some of these traditions.We all know the worldwide meaning of Christmas, on which people commemorate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Combined with the fact that it … Church congregations play a crucial role by organising events to visit the orphanages, adult family, and homeless homes, to visit the families and children.The church members come with gifts, food, and drink, and the choirs will perform Christmas songs in many languages like Yoruba, Fulani, and Igbo. During the holiday season is a great time to visit Africa. In my community, Christmas without chicken is considered a "dead Christmas". In fact, Africa loves Christmas more than any other continent and we take Christmas to a whole new level. Whether you are celebrating a secular or religious Christmas, it is a day for fun, love, and happiness. In some communities even non-Christians join in on holiday festivities. Do you know how Christmas is celebrated in African countries? They usually have grandparents from the countryside to be part of this special day.In a larger family, one family member hosts the celebration, and kids, grandkids, parents, grandparents, friends and families, and people in the community are invited to come to have fun. That is not to say Christmas is taken for granted in Africa. Most Christian households go to church service is held on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of Christ. In my community, Christmas has become  a tradition and tradition must go on. They hoped peace will … Among Lingala-speaking people of DR Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Republic and Angola, you may hear "Mbotama Malamu" which is just another way of saying "Merry Christmas" in the Lingala language. How Hindus celebrate Christmas. In many African countries, it symbolises the birth of African God Ra (Osiris). Buying gifts is also quite rare since people cannot afford it.The morning of Christmas is spent at a traditional breakfast called millet. Egypt and Ethiopia follow the Julian calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Combined with the fact that it is a public holiday, you will see a lot of people hanging out outside.Many families go camping in massive tents, while those staying in cities organise outdoor events like traditional barbecue (braai). We can go on and on. The big difference is that we are in summer when it is Christmas. Christmas in Ghana is fun and relaxing at the same time but there are a few fun facts about the festivities in Ghana. The most commonly prepared main dish consists of turkey, goat, sheep, or chicken, and side dishes range from fried rice to jollof rice, skewed beef (suya), and vegetable salads.Also, depending on what tribe a family is from, they will make meals from their trip. We celebrate Christmas … Those who can afford to give more help to poor communities by donating books, clothes, and toys to orphanages or churches. Cakes or desserts are made of lychees that commonly grow in Madagascar. Almost every Christmas meal in Tanzania includes roast beef, turkey, mince pies, yellow rice, vegetables, and a pudding. You will remember any "fufu and chicken soup" you taste in Ghana on Christmas day and you will definitely turn Oliver Twist and ask for more "Eba and Egusi soup" in Nigeria on a Christmas day. Common Christmas traditions in AfricaGoing to ChurchDespite small differences among the ceremonies, going to church is a must at Christmas. South Africa South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, so the country celebrates Christmas during the hot summertime of the year. For the dessert, people like to eat puddings like Lekker Pudding or Christmas Pudding. Read more about Christmas traditions in Africa, e.g. Ghana is a small country compared to giants like Nigeria. In fact, Africa loves Christmas more than any other continent and we take Christmas to a whole new level. It celebrates Jesus' birth. 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