South Africa also has several other UK Christmas traditions, because of its history with the UK. The crisis began between Christmas and New Year when Bonnie Saunders, a nurse at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales, developed coronavirus symptoms. Madagascar, island country lying off the southeastern coast of Africa. Decorating shop fronts, trees, churches, and homes is common throughout Christian communities in Africa. This poem is a great way for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit and to be excited about the big night. Most people go to Church on Christmas Eve in Madagascar. A lekker Christmas tjoon you’ll only hear in South Africa This year you can celebrate Christmas with a lekker local song! Observed on December 25 every year, Christmas in Nigeria is at once both a religious and cultural celebration among millions of adherents in the country. Geseende Kersfees (“Merry Christmas” in my home language, Afrikaans) from all of us here in South Africa! 10. The emphasis is more on the religious celebration of the birth of Jesus than it is on gift giving. On Christmas Day carols are sung from Ghana to South Africa. The reason I bring this up is the Eritrean society celebrates two Christmas’s in a space of 14 days. In South Africa, the weeks before Christmas, people celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. In 1984, Band Aid released the immortal Christmas song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" M erry Christmas and Happy New Year or is it Happy New year and Merry Christmas, perhaps it is Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Merry Christmas again! Have a look. The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. Sharo happens when two young men want to marry the same woman. In 2018, research from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity showed that there are approximately 631 million Christians living in Africa, more than any other continent. The greeting has been Africanized and here are 25 ways of saying Merry Christmas in Africa as documented by whychristmas.com. The Christmas season is arguably the most celebrated season in Nigeria, because everyone (except for Muslims living in the north) gathers to celebrate the Yuletide season. And yet, Christmas is celebrated throughout the continent by Christian communities both large and small. Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. So, Geseënde Kersfees to all and … In East Africa, goats are purchased at the local market for roasting on Christmas Day. In Akan (Ghana): AfishapaIn Shona (Zimbabwe): Muve neKisimusiIn Afrikaans (South Africa):  Geseënde KersfeesIn Zulu (South Africa):  Sinifisela Ukhisimusi OmuhleIn Swazi (Swaziland):  Sinifisela Khisimusi LomuhleIn Sotho (Lesotho):  Matswalo a Morena a MabotseIn Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya): Kuwa na Krismasi njemaIn Amharic (Ethiopia): Melkam Yelidet BeaalIn Egyptian Arabic (Egypt): Colo sana wintom tiebeenIn Yoruba (Nigeria): E ku odun, e hu iye' dun. This article was updated and re-written in part by Jessica Macdonald on November 7 2019. Listen to Twelve Days of Christmas with a South African spin over here: People start shopping for Christmas by early December. Traditional 'fir' Christmas Trees are popular and children leave a stocking out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Although located some 250 miles from the African continent, Madagascar’s population is primarily related not to African peoples but rather those of Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles to the east. Ironically, Christmas paraphernalia including cards, wrapping paper, and decorations still use traditional motifs including snowmen and reindeer. The Christmas tree is decorated some time before Christmas Day, so there’s plenty of time to be ready for Christmas Eve when Santa Claus comes. The history of Christianity in Africa dates back to the 1st century AD, when Egyptian converts founded some of the earliest Christian communities in the world. Because South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas comes in the summer. In Afrikaans (one the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Geseënde Kersfees'; in Zulu it's 'UKhisimusi omuhle', in Sesotho it's 'Le be le keresemese e monate' and in Xhosa it's 'Krismesi emnandi'. In South Africa, he is also called Sinterklass or Kersvader. This means that although they celebrate on December 25, that date usually translates to January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. In rural Africa, few people can afford frivolous gifts or toys, and in any case, there are not many places to buy them. Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday? Later on there is a feast of rice and yam paste called fufu with stew or okra soup, porridge and meats. Mince pies are also popular. Christmas in South Africa. This holiday is more about going to church, eating together with the family and playing games. Christmas (which means "The Mass of Christ") is a Christian holiday that refers to the birth of Jesus (whom Christians believe is the Son of God), and a cultural holiday for non-Christians.. The sapin de noël. So there's lots of sun and beautiful flowers in full bloom. The date is traditional and is not considered to be the actual date of his birth. If it's really hot they might even have a barbecue or 'braai'. This is unarguably the most popular holiday in all of Africa, and Christians – who are the originators of Christmas – are not the only ones to celebrate the birth of the Christ. Kwanzaa (the celebration of African heritage observed in the United States and often associated with the festive season) is not celebrated in Africa. In Afrikaans (one the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Geseënde Kersfees'; in Zulu it's 'UKhisimusi omuhle', in Sesotho it's 'Le be le keresemese e monate' and in Xhosa it's 'Krismesi emnandi'. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. Carols by Candlelight services are also popular on Christmas Eve. Christmas (or the Feast of the Nativity) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. The other significant difference is the weather. Christmas on the African continent is festive, colorful and loud! The most common gift bought at Christmas is new clothes, usually intended to be worn to church. In the West African nation of Senegal, Islam is the main religion; and yet Christmas is designated as a national holiday along with Easter, the end of Ramadan, and Prophet Mohammed's birthday. It's a little too close to the equator for snow, Sir Bob I'm not sure if you know where Africa is or its size, but it's not all on the Equator. How Do People Celebrate Christmas in Africa? 5)How about "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time"? In Ghana, on Africa's west coast, most churches herald the coming of Christmas by decorating the church and homes beginning … These are often joyous occasions of music and dance. The services start about 5.00pm and last until after midnight! Then comment. People also like to pull Christmas Crackers! Though most friends and families do not exchange gifts, commu… The turkey’s acceptance into the Old World happened quickly. This Mail & Guardian article shows how Senegalese Muslims and Christians have chosen to unofficially celebrate each other's holidays, laying the foundation for the country's renowned atmosphere of religious tolerance.Â. Anouk is a travel writer, editor, and agent raised in Malawi and Kenya with more than 15 years of experience working in the African travel industry. Many people who are Christian in the two countries fast for 40 days (it is called fast of the prophets). In many countries, processions take place after a church service held on Christmas Eve. The Fulani tribe live in many countries in West Africa and follow a tradition called Sharo. An interesting French Christmas tradition is that the French knot the ends of the tablecloth so the Devil can’t get under the table. The schools are closed for the Christmas holidays and some people like to go camping. The Christmas meal is either turkey, duck, roast beef or suckling pig with yellow rice & raisins and vegetables, followed by Christmas Pudding or a traditional South African dessert called Malva Pudding (sometimes also called Lekker Pudding) - get the recipe. Instead of a spoon, Ethiopians use flatbread called “injera”. Meats are roasted, gifts are exchanged, and people travel far and wide to visit family. In Portuguese, it’s literally a “Peru bird,” and in Malay, it’s called a “Dutch chicken.” Turkey, meet Thanksgiving. And yes, Sting was on this song. The men must suppress signs of pain and the one who takes the beating without showing signs of pain can take the wife. Shoes in front of the fireplace They receive small cash donations in return, in much the same way that Western children do when caroling. It is the fourth largest island in the world. Plan Your Christmas Vacation to Eastern Europe, How the Christmas Season is Celebrated in New Zealand, Everything You Need to Know About Time in Africa, Celebrate Christmas Italian Styles at These City Events, Learn What's Different About Christmas in Peru, 10 Best Annual Events and Festivals in Africa, 13 Days in China with Viking River Cruises, The Best Places to See Christmas Lights in and Near Nashville. The day known as Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th day of December. Boxing Day is also a proclaimed public holiday usually spent in the open air. In Malawi, groups of young children go door-to-door to perform dances and Christmas songs to the accompaniment of homemade instruments. South Africa holidays 2022. Going to church is usually the main focus of Christmas celebrations in Africa. Nativity scenes are played out, carols are sung and in some cases dances are performed. Get a map. 34 … Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. However, in many countries the celebration is very different than it is in North America or Europe. After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. On Christmas Day the family gathers at a ‘braai’, which is the South African version of a barbecue (BBQ). To compete for her hand, they beat one another up. Everyone counts down to the end of the year, when all their pent-up party mood is released. In Afrikaans (one the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Geseënde Kersfees’. It falls on December 26 and is a day of real relaxation. There are many children in Madagascar who will recite a popular poem around Christmas time. Christmas Poems in Madagascar. Customs, traditions, and even the date of the holiday differ from country to country but the religious foundation of the celebration remains the same, unifying people from all walks of life and a myriad different cultures. In December, many Christians celebrate a holiday called Christmas.1 What is Christmas? In most countries, Christmas is a public holiday and people make the most of the opportunity to visit family and friends. During Christmas time, children expect a new cloth, called a “Christmas cloth”, from their parents. Center for the Study of Global Christianity. 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. By 1575, the English were enjoying the North American bird at Christmas dinner, and Shakespeare talked about it in Henry IV. You may see fake snow decorating store fronts in ​Nairobi, palm trees laden with candles in Ghana, or oil palms loaded with bells in Liberia. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. It doesn't just have one type of weather. Every country has its own unique celebrations no matter how small its Christian population. 9. Going carol singing, on Christmas Eve, is very popular in towns and cities. Christmas Day is a public holiday in Eritrea that is celebrated on January 7 or on 27 Tahsas of the Ethiopian calendar. Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, is popular all over Africa, wherever Christianity is. Boxing Day is also a public holiday in South Africa and again people like to be 'out and about' having a good time! Traditionally referred to as Ganna, an Ethiopian Christmas typically begins with a day of fasting, followed by church services and a feast that includes stew, vegetables and sourdough bread. Here’s how it goes: A very popular Christmas poem that children perform in Madagascar is: Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells the favorite story, "A Christmas Carol." For many people, Africa is synonymous with arid deserts and tropical jungles; hardly compatible with northern hemisphere ideas of Christmas. In The Gambia, for example, people parade with large lanterns called fanals, made in the shape of boats or houses. How Do People Celebrate New Year's Eve in Africa? And many people go to a Christmas morning Church Service. Duh! Note: This article is featured in this booklet, which shows the surprising connection between Christmas and the creation of the world.. The period before, during and after Christmas Day is marked by conviviality, merriment, wining and dining. Our nation is called the Rainbow Nation because we have a diversity of races, languages (eleven to be exact) and traditions. In Brazil, you say ‘Bom Natal’ or ‘Boas Festes’ if you wish somebody Merry Christmas. Even in some of Africa's predominantly Muslim countries, Christmas is still recognized as a secular celebration. Along with Islam, it is one of the two most widely practiced religions on the African continent. On the west coast of Africa, in Liberia, most homes have an oil palm for a Christmas tree, which is decorated with bells. Of course, the evergreen firs and pines favored in North America and Europe are hard to come by in Africa, so Christmas trees are usually replaced by native or synthetic alternatives. In southern hemisphere countries December represents the height of summer; which is why a typical Christmas Day in places like South Africa often involves beach trips, sunbathing sessions, and eating al fresco. Many people mistakenly state that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” They do so, because they believe people have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. It is a day when families attend … On Christmas day afternoon, people visit family and friends or might go for a trip into the country side to play games or have a swim. 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