Christmas is eagerly awaited in the countries of the African continent. The festive occasion is celebrated with much enthusiasm and excitement. People are thrilled right from the beginning of the Christmas season and decorations and preparation begin well before time. The different African countries have varied Christmas traditions and customs, owing to their diverse cultures and backgrounds. However, the traditional turkey dinner is common to most of the Christmas-celebrating countries of the continent. Read on to know more about Christmas celebrations in Africa.
Christmas Celebrations In Africa
In Congo, the people and groups of carolers walk around in the village singing Christmas carols. Later, they go home, wear festive clothes and take love offerings for Jesus (collected from the people) to the special service held in the house of worship, i.e. the church. People place their gifts upon the elevated platform, near the communion table. After the service is over, friends are invited upon for Christmas dinners that are arranged in the front of the homes.
This small country is located at the west coast of the African continent. Here, churches and homes are elaborately decorated in the first week of Advent, which is four weeks before Christmas. The Christmas period in the country is also the time for Cocoa harvest, accounting for people’s prosperity and willingness to spend at this festive time. On the Christmas Eve, everyone, including farmers and miners, returns home. A special service is held in the churches in the evening and children sing Christmas carols and march in the street.
Christmas is a family affair in Kenya and the members get together on this festive occasion to enjoy a traditional Christmas meal. Nyama Choma (roast goat meat) and Tuskers Beer is the flavor of the season in this African country. The goat meat is eaten hot from the charcoal grill and the rule is to eat it in just one sitting. Among the Kikuyu and Masai tribes in Africa, certain parts of goats are to be eaten by boys and certain others by girls. The less privileged families eat chicken at Christmas, with chapattis, ugali, sukuma wiki and rice.
Liberia is situated on the west coast of the African continent. Here, Christmas mornings resonate with carols and people are woken up to religious songs. Cotton cloth, soap, sweets, pencils, and books are the popular Christmas presents, which are exchanged among people. A church service is held in the morning and a scene from the life of Holy Christ is enacted. Hymns and carols are sung in the background, at the time. The festive dinner, consisting of a meal of rice, beef and biscuits, is eaten in the outdoors.
In South Africa, Christmas falls in the summer season. Schools declare summer holidays and camping is popular during the festive season. Special screenings and floorshows are arranged in the large centers of the country. Pine branches are used by natives to decorate their houses. Christmas fir is put in a corner, along with presents for children around the base of the fir. 26th of December is known as the Boxing Day in South Africa and is a proclaimed public holiday. It is the day to relax after the hectic Christmas celebrations.