They even decorate mosques with Christmas trees. 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. In fact, the local "palm wine" replaces fanta, coca cola, and most other foreign drinks on Christmas day in my Community. How Hindus celebrate Christmas. In Nigeria, you may also hear "Iselogbe" which is just another way of sayin Merry Christmas in the Edo language. This means, you get your presents on time. To a white Afrikaner in South Africa or Namibia, you can say "Geseënde Kersfees" which is simply "Merry Christmas" in Afrikaans. Instead of expensive gifts, people usually gift each other affordable items or services. How do Africans celebrate Christmas? In fact, Africa loves Christmas more than any other continent and we take Christmas to a whole new level. MadagascarThe African Christmas tradition in Madagascar is more traditional than in South Africa. 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. 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). For the dessert, people like to eat puddings like Lekker Pudding or Christmas Pudding. In Africa, Christmas is more than just a holiday and we celebrate it with passion. The date is traditional and is not considered to be the actual date of his birth. Outdoor Christmas activities in South Africa. The best part however is that, almost every Nigerian knows and understands "Merry Christmas" because English is the official language of Nigeria. In the olden days Christmas wasn’t just a one-day event – it was actually celebrated for 12 days.This began on Christmas Eve, December 24, and was celebrated every day up until the Epiphany. Although the majority of the continent cannot afford a luxury lifestyle, gifting remains a common tradition. 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. Meats are roasted, gifts are exchanged, and people travel far and wide to visit family. Christmas daystarts with the opening of the presents followed by a heavy lunch which is also known as Braai. Church. We can go on and on. The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. 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. Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday? 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. Festivities are marked with many decorations. Coptic Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate Christmas according to the Coptic calendar. Now that the holidays are in full swing, we thought we’d take a look at how different countries in Africa celebrate Christmas. You can also see many decorations on indigenous poinsettia trees.The meals consist of chicken or pork with yellow rice. 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. Among the Zulu-speaking people of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland, you may hear "UKhisimusi omuhle" which is simply "Merry Christmas" in Zulu. DinnerChristmas dinner is a perfect opportunity for family gatherings, so African communities take it very seriously. Christmas on the African continent is festive, colorful and loud! 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. Almost every Christmas meal in Tanzania includes roast beef, turkey, mince pies, yellow rice, vegetables, and a pudding. in Ethiopia which is just another way of saying Merry Christmas in the Amharic language. The earliest signs of Christian belief were found in Egypt in the 1st century AD. Ghanaians however do not celebrate christmas any differently from the rest of the world although there are a few noticeable differences. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas when the wise men went to visit Jesus. Christmas is celebrated on December 25, but celebrations tend to occur from Christmas Eve through December 26, which is Boxing Day, and traditionally a day of relaxation and family time. Do you know how Christmas is celebrated in African countries? It celebrates Jesus' birth. Among the Swahili-speaking people of Tanzania, Kenya, DR Congo and Uganda, you may hear either "Krismasi Njema" or "Heri ya Krismasi" which are the two most popular ways of saying "Merry Christmas" in Swahili (one of the most popular native languages in Africa today). Many people visit churches with their fanciest clothes that they bought by saving up money for months. People celebrate Christmas in Tanzania by visiting one of the nearby churches for Christmas mass which is followed by a lavish dinner with family and friends. That means that they believe in Jesus Christ and celebrate in much the same way we do, with gift-giving, delicious meals, and a general atmosphere of merriment and charity. If this statement sparks your interest, you are in the right place. This includes the majority of African countries, and the beginning of the new year is celebrated across the continent in much the same way that it is in North America: … Ghana is a small country compared to giants like Nigeria. 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. Palm trees are also ideal for decorating with lanterns and bells. The supper is usually served with lamb or sheep. Christian communities both large and small celebrate Christmas throughout the African continent. For example, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are Anglophone (English-speaking) countries. COURTESY. We celebrate Christmas … It is a gift every kid in my community receives from his or her parents whether rich or poor. It is also considered the celebration of the winter solstice in some countries. Either way, Christmas is a time for family and merrymaking. After visiting the church, the celebration starts with a traditional Christmas dinner party. What religion doesn’t celebrate Christmas Do Indians celebrate Christmas. Christmas is celebrated throughout Africa and it is the most wonderful time of the year. 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. Buying gifts is also quite rare since people cannot afford it.The morning of Christmas is spent at a traditional breakfast called millet. For Chadians, spending time with family is the most crucial aspect of Christmas, and they do that indoors, so you are less likely to encounter outdoor events. 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. Though most friends and families do not exchange gifts, commu… Q. The big difference is that we are in summer when it is Christmas. Although historians are debating about the actual date of his birth, the overall accepted date is December 25th.African history has an additional layer to the worldwide known account of Christmas. Well, that is a very big question. Christmas remains one of the most festive periods on the African calendar and perhaps the best season to be a kid in Africa. Although there is no special dish for Christmas, anything you taste on Christmas day must feel good in your mouth. My view is that the full impact of COVID-19 on the African continent will take time before it is fully understood. In fact, any family that fails to "assassinate" chicken during Christmas time, has broken perhaps one of the most important rules of Christmas and must be prepared to face the consequences (which include having to deal with the shame all year long). Enobong Paulinus Udoidiong - Rome, Italy. We inherited most of our traditions from other countries, including the USA and UK. 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. Unlike other parts of the world, there is no room for a cold, snowy Christmas in South Africa. You may hear "Melikam Gena!" What is Africa’s Christmas traditions? Those who can afford to give more help to poor communities by donating books, clothes, and toys to orphanages or churches. Families can opt for making braai on the grill or cook more traditional South African dishes.Popular traditional dishes include turkey, duck, mince pie, roast beef, and pudding-like Plum pudding imported from the UK, and the locally invented Malva pudding.The streets in the Cape Town and central districts are decorated with lights and inflatables. That is not to say Christmas is taken for granted in Africa. 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. 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. Other activities during love feast include singing, dancing, Bible recitation. "Christmas clothes" has become a tradition in my community and tradition must go on. 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. They hoped peace will … With over 350 million Christians living in the continent, many Southern and West African countries celebrate Christmas with massive festivities, even those that are predominantly Muslim. South Africa South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, so the country celebrates Christmas during the hot summertime of the year. Do Africans celebrate Christmas? Why Experience an African Christmas?Have you ever thought of experiencing an African Christmas? 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. Soon the holidays will be in full swing , we thought we’d take a look at how different countries in Africa celebrate Christmas.Christianity has been on the continent since the middle of the first century, and approximately 350 million Africans are Christian — so, they’ve had a lot of time to develop their own unique holiday traditions, like masquerade parties and dining al fresco. In some countries, churches can organise parades as well.No matter what country you visit, you will notice the significance of the church in Christmas celebrations. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI. In my community, Christmas is so special to us because it is one of very few holidays we get in a year. 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. 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. "Jollof Rice and fried chicken" also reign supreme on Christmas day in Africa. To begin, yes, Africans celebrate Christmas and yes, we love Christmas. These people like to have dinner on 25th of December and 24th of December. In the evening, large dinner parties are organised, especially for the poor who can’t afford many meals in daily life. 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 has become a tradition and tradition must go on. In traditional churches in Nigeria, the church go on a short trip as a way to replicate the visit of the wise men. Also, most restaurants and shops will be closed since it is a national holiday, so most people do grocery shopping well in advance. History of Christmas in AfricaHave you ever thought of experiencing an African Christmas? Christianity has been on the continent since the middle of the 1st century, and approximately 350 million Africans are Christian — so, they’ve had a lot of time to develop their own unique holiday traditions, like masquerade parties and dining al fresco. There are no Christmas dinners or reading of Christmas stories. 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. The love feast is a ceremony where people come as they are to eat, drink, and be merry. You will encounter not only the vibe of the holiday but also the culture and heritage of the country.If you could choose a country to visit during the holiday season to experience an African Christmas, which one would you choose and why? Once again, that depends on where you go in Africa on Christmas day. Turn on the TV or the radio, and you will not find Christmas programs. Christmas was long-declared a public holiday in Africa, so all the family members can attend the dinner on this special day.The type of meal depends on the country, which we will cover in the next section. "Afishapa" (more correctly, 'Afenhyiapa') means Merry Christmas (or Happy New Year) in the Ashanti language. The mall’s owners have said they will investigate the incident. It certainly looks different in South Africa though! 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