Do you know any African Christmas traditions? On Christmas afternoon, people go to meet their family friends or plan a trip with them to play some games or have fun. Since some dominant Muslim countries like Egypt and Sierra Leone do celebrate Christmas, between 38 and 41 African countries, celebrate Christmas.The most dominate Christian countries include: Angola (79%), Benin (42.8%), Botswana (70%), Burkina Faso (30%), Burundi (75%+), Cameroon (70%), Cape Verde (93%), Central African Republic (91%), Chad (40%), Comoros (71.9%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (95.7%), Republic of the Congo (50%), Equatorial Guinea (90%), Eritrea (50%), Eswatini (88%), Ethiopia (62.8%), Gabon (80%), Ghana (71.2%), Ivory Coast (33.9%), Kenya (84.8%), Lesotho (95%), Liberia (85.5%), Madagascar (41%), Malawi (85%), Mauritius (32.7%), Mozambique (51.6%), Namibia (90%), Nigeria (40%), Rwanda (59.6%), São Tomé and Príncipe (80%), Seychelles (76%), South Africa (80%), South Sudan (60.5%), Tanzania (61.4%), Togo (38%), Uganda (84%), Zambia (96%), and Zimbabwe (85%).These African countries have less than 21% Christian population: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt (15%), Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone (15-21%), Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia; with Sierra Leone and Egypt being the highest rate at 21% and 15% respectively. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas when the wise men went to visit Jesus. In Ghana, the Yuletide festivities get started as soon as December arrives, with shops, streets and homes decorated in twinkling lights and ornaments. South Africa… Gifts are opened on Christmas morning, followed by a relaxing, festive and abundant Christmas Dinner. In many African countries, it’s tradition to string up Christmas lights and ornaments and even decorate trees… But the African Christmas trees are just a little different from your usual pine or fir tree. Many people visit churches with their fanciest clothes that they bought by saving up money for months. Also, some people in Ethiopia and Egypt don’t believe in Santa Claus, while in Kenya, Santa is depicted as arriving on a camel or bike instead of a sleigh! Please let me know if you have any questions or if we could help in any way. The earliest signs of Christian belief were found in Egypt in the 1st century AD. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966. Your email address will not be published. And in Most West African Countries, Christmas is about stews, chicken, rice, goat … The United States is a melting pot, where all the traditions and customs of several nations blend, and this facet is visible in its Christmas tradition too. Here is why! It’s no different in Africa, with many countries putting on their own traditional and delicious Christmas meals. For the season, here you can get a window in to the Christmas traditions observed in Kenya that have been observed for decades … Unlike other parts of the world, there is no room for a cold, snowy Christmas in South Africa. 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. For almost everyone in Africa, Christmas is a time to gather with friends and family, go to church and enjoy a big feast – but every country also has its own unique festive traditions. We can now look at some traditions practiced explicitly in some countries that have a high Christian population. Read more about Christmas traditions in Africa, e.g. In some countries, churches can organize parades as well. Although for many of the African countries Christmas comes during the summer months, accompanied by lots of sunshine and colourful flowers in full bloom, the spirit of Christmas on this … Christmas in South Africa is the time when everything is the most alive; flowers are blooming, people and smiling and carol singers are out in force. When they get to the location, usually a park with a lot of open space, they start the love feast. Christmas Calendars: Supporting an animal shelter or worthy causes couldn’t be easier. Holiday Traditions in South Africa … They usually have grandparents from the countryside to be part of this special day. Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture that is held from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, usually held on the 6th day. 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. You can even read about the American slave experience in the children’s story, Irene Jennie and the Christmas Masquerade. 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. This basically means “please give me something nice for Christmas”. In Nigeria, flavoured rice, tomato stew and fried chicken or goat are the stars of the festivities, while in Ghana, the locals dish up their famous Jollof rice, fufu and okra soup. Other areas in western Africa also have some pretty cool traditions. People used to travel their native place or villages from town and the traffic during the Christmas season becomes a nightmare in Kenya because everyone is travelling. In this article we shared that how Christmas in South Africa … The motherland is full of rich culture, diverse heritage, unique experiences, and of course, outstanding food. You can even read about the American slave experience in the children’s story, Irene Jennie and the Christmas Masquerade. One major difference is that in South Africa, Christmas is in the middle of summer. People do share gifts with each other, but it’s also tradition to donate to the churches and orphanages with presents like clothes, books, soap, candles and toys. In Sierra Leone and much of Gambia , for example, towns and villages celebrate with masquerade parties, extending the celebration beyond the faith community to include the whole town or village in the holiday spirit. You’ll see everything from Cypress trees to mango and palm trees bedazzled with little ornaments like bells and candles across Africa, while the big stores and hotels usually put up more extravagant decorations like fake snow. RELATED CONTENT: 7 new and unique experiences you can now do in South Africa with Trafalgar. Automated page speed optimizations for fast site performance, Your Go-To Resource for African Travel Destinations. In the evening, large dinner parties are organized, especially for the poor who can’t afford many meals in daily life. You will barely see any Christmas trees or fancy Christmas lights. The locals also usually buy their new clothes months in advance, as the shops are notorious for hiking up the prices in December since they know people will come to buy their new Christmas clothes. Sharo happens when two young men want to marry the same woman. With Christians making up almost half of the continent’s population, Christmas is a big deal in Africa, and they sure know how to celebrate. Christmas traditions do vary in each culture but nothing beats the fact that this celebration won’t be complete without a sumptuous array of holiday food shared with our loved ones over merry chatters and cheerful songs. In Kenya, it’s all about grilled meats at the nyama choma or meat and potato stew. Also, instead of saying “Merry Christmas” in Liberia, the locals say “My Christmas on you”. After visiting the church, the celebration starts with a traditional Christmas dinner party. Share with us in the comments below! Geseende Kersfees (“Merry Christmas” in my home language, Afrikaans) from all of us here in South Africa!. Christmas Day, celebrated on December 25 in Catholic, Protestant, and most Orthodox churches, is a public holiday in South Africa. The vast majority of African countries are entering the hot season of the year. "Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. Although Christmas celebrations in South Africa are unique, the spirit of Christmas … The churches hold ceremonies and events during the day. Wonder how christmas is celebrated in Africa? Christmas meals are usually slow-cooked one day in advance. 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. If you could choose a country to visit during the holiday season to experience an African Christmas, which one would you choose and why? From a camel-riding Santa to masquerade parties, here are 6 wonderful African Christmas traditions. The African Christmas traditions in Madagascar is more traditional than in South Africa. Whether you’re just visiting for the Christmas holidays or you find yourself settling into ex-pat life in France, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with some of France ’s most interesting Christmas traditions.. With normal Christmas traditions such as advent calendars and the standard Christmas Eve gift-giving rituals, some French Christmas traditions … Whether you believe in Santa or not, giving out presents isn’t usually a major African Christmas tradition. On TV. Today, most Americans blend religious and secular customs with their own family traditions… During the holiday season is a great time to visit Africa. Instead, flowers are in full bloom, beautiful butterflies, bees and other insects are abundant, and the sun is always shining. While the majority of countries in Africa celebrate Christmas on December 25th, it’s not the same everywhere. Do you know how Christmas is celebrated in African countries? It is also considered the celebration of the winter solstice in some countries. Yes, many of them have a sizeable Christian population; therefore, they celebrate Christmas. The Rockettes - Since 1925, first known as the Missouri Rockets, this iconic dance troupe has been … African history has an additional layer to the worldwide known account of Christmas. RELATED CONTENT: The 7 best experiences you can enjoy in Kenya with Trafalgar. No matter how inexpensive a gift item is, everyone has to participate. Although the majority of the continent cannot afford a luxury lifestyle, gifting remains a common tradition. There are 38 countries with a significant population of Christian. Christmas, celebrated by most Christians on December 25, commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Interestingly, children of Uganda don’t believe in Santa Claus, which is why they never expect gifts. 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. In some countries like the Congo, the locals bring a gift for their church’s Communion table. Those who can afford to give more help to poor communities by donating books, clothes, and toys to orphanages or churches. Other activities during love feast include singing, dancing, Bible recitation. You can also see many decorations on indigenous poinsettia trees. One of the most popular gifts across Africa is new clothes. The Yuletide season is all about honouring the birth of Jesus and you’ll find church services on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In Malawi, you’ll see children going door-to-door to perform Christmas carols and play traditional instruments in return for small cash donations. People who live in rural areas try their best with the available resources like food and electricity to be part of the Christmas celebration. Cakes or desserts are made of lychees that commonly grow in Madagascar. 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. Boxing Day, December 26th, is also a public holiday, and a day for relaxation. Compared to the previous countries on the list, Chad has the least westernized Christmas traditions. Christmas and gifting are two inseparable concepts, and Africa is no exception. There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season that don't involve gift-giving. Forget the snow, fir trees and mulled wine. Many families go camping in massive tents, while those staying in cities organize outdoor events like traditional barbecue (braai). One of the most exciting advantages of living in Nigeria is that you will get to observe both Christian and Muslim holidays since those are the two primary religions in the country. Wherever you go and whatever you eat, the Christmas meal in Africa is all about inviting all your friends and family to share in the good times – and everyone is welcome. Here are some traditions followed by all the African countries celebrating Christmas. You will encounter not only the vibe of the holiday but also the culture and heritage of the country. The streets in the Cape Town and central districts are decorated with lights and inflatables. In fact, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and everything is alive. When it comes to Christmas celebration, Africa … Easy to do, Santa Shoebox project is a beloved tradition of charity embraced by South Africa at large. Common Christmas Traditions in Africa Going to Church. Christmas Celebration in the Kenya – Things which are included in festivity celebration. In Liberia, you’ll see Old Man Bayka, the ‘devil’ who doesn’t give presents but instead walks the streets on Christmas Day begging you for presents. A vital component of the love feast is a gift exchange. Christmas in South Africa and Namibia. If you require more information please view our Cookie policy. On the big day, lunch is often a traditional roast enjoyed … Cultural Differences. Have you ever thought of experiencing an African Christmas? How Do People Celebrate Christmas in Africa? In east Africa they roast a whole goat. Keep on reading! The morning of Christmas is spent at a traditional breakfast called millet. Good Job making it! Desserts include Christmas plum pudding, Christmas Crackers, and a traditional dish called Malva Pudding, or Lekker Pudding. Read about Christmas and its traditions in Africa and African Christmas customs. 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