How Christmas is celebrated in Africa
To an average African, the month of December means celebration, a season of fun, love sharing and merriment. Time to be spent with family, friends and love ones. Family members abroad come home to spend the much celebrated holiday with families… Shopping is done for Christmas clothes, shoes, presents, Christmas trees and Christmas decorations. Fun fairs are organized for kids, parties and get together are organized by companies to close up for the year. Colorful decorations are seen everywhere from companies to cinemas to churches to houses and many more. The streets are dazzling with vibrant adornment here and there. Christmas carols services are held in many worship centers.
The much awaited Christmas day is here! Top on the itinerary for the day is to attend the worship centers where much celebration would be done. Shouts of joy can be heard from such places and people are eager to go back home to continue the celebration with a good and hearty dinner.
As in most Christian cultures, celebrating Christmas dinner with friends and family tops the list after attending church. In most countries Christmas is a public holiday and people take the opportunity to visit friends and family. In East Africa goats are quickly snapped up at the local markets and roasted on Christmas day. In South Africa the sun is hot and the beaches are full of families enjoying braais (bbq’s) or traditional Christmas dinners with paper hats, mince pies, turkey and plum pudding (a vestige of the British colonial legacy.) In Ghana and Nigeria Christmas dinner is not complete without a round of rice with chicken stew or pounded yam with vegetable soup accompanied with goat or cow meat, fufu with okra soup and in Liberia rice, beef and biscuits are the order of the day. Zimbabweans make sure there are plenty of bread, jam and tea to eat along with their goat meat. This is the most interesting part of the day as it features most families coming together with friends and love ones to have a swell time together.
Fun, fun, fun!!!
Right after the dinner, the rest of the day is taken off in enjoyment. Everybody goes in different direction of what is fun to them. Youngsters go out with friends to already organized parties thrown for the celebration. Older ones go to visit friends and children are taken to funfairs, parties or friends house to continue in the fun spirit. The entire community is bustling with joyous rhymes of music playing from every corner, greetings of happy Christmas is heard here and there, children are having a great time with their momentary freedom, and youths are partying hard in the celebration. The entire place is enriched in happy moods.
Christmas in Africa is a mixture of spiritual, cultural and social activity and is enjoyed to its peak regardless of the present situation of the individual, community, city or country. The Christmas gives hope to Africans and keeps their faith going that all will be well. Right after Christmas celebration, everybody starts the preparation for New Year.