While the holiday customs in Africa are unique, there are some that you may find familiar. Specifically, there are four Christmas traditions in Africa that you and your loved ones may also do during this time of year.
With Christianity playing such a significant role in Africa, it’s essential to the people that the church gets involved in the holiday. Many Africans go to church to celebrate Christmas. And while the services may have slight differences across congregations, they all tend to focus on a few key things: Christmas carols, dance performances, and a nativity play.
Gift-giving is a worldwide tradition, and Africa is no exception. For Christmas, Africans love to gather around to give each other gifts. And even though luxury items aren’t usually the gifts they provide, their presents still put a smile on each other’s faces.
Most Africans like to give each other affordable presents or provide services as their Christmas gifts to loved ones. However, if someone has a little extra spending money, it’s not uncommon to see that person donate items to orphanages, churches, or impoverished communities.
As in many places, families love to gather around for a good Christmas dinner. In Africa, this is a tradition that you see people take very seriously. Because Christmas is a public holiday, relatives and loved ones are expected to come to dinner, so many people are typically present.
Even if there’s no snow, that doesn’t stop people in Africa from decorating a Christmas tree to get in the holiday spirit. It’s common to see people use handmade decorations, bells, and lanterns to decorate their Christmas tree. And if some Africans want to see a little snow, they usually find fake snow at a store to put on their tree.
Christmas day in Nigeria specifically is long and fun-filled. Many Nigerians start their celebration by going to church to worship. Then, afterward, they tend to have a Christmas dinner. Many of the dishes include goat, chicken, turkey, sheep, vegetable salad, skewed beef, and jollof rice.
However, another popular Christmas tradition in Nigeria centers around community service. For Christmas, the churches in Nigeria like to organize events for people to visit homeless shelters, orphanages, and struggling families. During these visits, the church members provide Christmas gifts, including drinks, food, presents, and a performance from the choir.
Home to the largest number of Christians, Africa is a place where you’ll find many people celebrating Christmas. The birth of Jesus is a moment in history that many Africans take seriously, which is why they place such importance on the public holiday.
Christmas is a time of year where people in Africa worship, gather, sing, dance, give, and serve others. And as Christianity proceeds to grow in Africa, the holiday and its traditions will continue to play a significant role in various African countries and kingdoms.
Christmas traditions in Kenya
In Kenya, Christmas is considered one of the biggest holidays of the year. Instead of small gatherings, it’s a tradition for hundreds of people to come together to celebrate Christmas.
These gatherings include a Christmas dinner that comes with goat or cow meat, corn cake or chapati, and meat stew with vegetables and potatoes. The gatherings also include singing and dancing around a fire with family and other loved ones. Christmas traditions in South Africa
The traditions in South Africa are very people-focused. During Christmas, people visit loved ones. And sometimes, families and friends go to the countryside to enjoy the nice weather.
However, if people decide to stay in the city for Christmas, they’ll typically participate in a South African barbeque called “braai.” For these dinners, South Africans go to their verandas and gardens to prepare, organize, and eat.
Christmas traditions in Tanzania
One of the main holiday traditions in Tanzania is the Christmas dinner. In this country, people celebrate Christmas by purchasing a goat or cow in January. Then, they feed it really well so that it’s ready for dinner, which happens on Christmas Eve.
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