In places like Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Malaysia, Western customs and traditions … 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. People who live in rural areas try their best with the available resources like food and electricity to be part of the Christmas celebration. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966. © Copyright Trafalgar Tours, all rights reserved. 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. In Ghana, the festivities start early around December 1, when shops and homes are decorated with Christmas trees and blinking lights. 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. Putting a price on the bride. The African Christmas traditions in Madagascar is more traditional than in South Africa. On Christmas afternoon, people go to meet their family friends or plan a trip with them to play some games or have fun. There are 38 countries with a significant population of Christian. Egypt and Ethiopia follow the Julian calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Celebrations are still held in the Bahamas. 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. Community service is also a considerable part of an African Christmas in Nigeria. Common Christmas Traditions in Africa Going to Church. When they get to the location, usually a park with a lot of open space, they start the love feast. You can see a list of the most popular Nigerian food during the festive season. The churches hold ceremonies and events during the day. Think: putting up Christmas tree decorations with unique Christmas tree toppers, baking holiday cookies, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, for starters.While all of these festive activities are surefire ways to get you and your family into the holiday spirit, there are other Christmas traditions … Almost everyone in the world agrees that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus… and enjoying a feast. From a camel-riding Santa to masquerade parties, here are 6 wonderful African Christmas traditions. That is not to say Christmas is taken for granted in Africa. Wonder how christmas is celebrated in Africa? One major difference is that in South Africa, Christmas is in the middle of summer. A decorated tree is usually one of the first decorative signs that the Christmas … 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. The men must suppress signs of pain and the one who takes the beating without showing signs of pain can take the wife. 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! A vital component of the love feast is a gift exchange. Christmas, celebrated by most Christians on December 25, commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The Christmas Tree. Tanzanians like to roast a cow or goat to share around the village and wash it down with home-brewed beer, while in Liberia, you’ll find beef, rice and biscuits for your Christmas feast. You can also see many decorations on indigenous poinsettia trees. In some countries around the world, the end of the Midnight Mass signals the time to go to bed to wait for Santa. How Do People Celebrate Christmas 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. The type of meal depends on the country, which we will cover in the next section. The morning of Christmas is spent at a traditional breakfast called millet. You will barely see any Christmas trees or fancy Christmas lights. Special Christmas feasts. Unlike other parts of the world, there is no room for a cold, snowy Christmas in South Africa. They also provide emergency food and essentials to hungry children and their families during the Christmas season. There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season that don't involve gift-giving. In some countries like the Congo, the locals bring a gift for their church’s Communion table. Sharo happens when two young men want to marry the same woman. You exchange your wrapped gift with your church family and friends and establish new friendships during the process. African history has an additional layer to the worldwide known account of Christmas. We can now look at some traditions practiced explicitly in some countries that have a high Christian population. Of course, there are several variations to celebrating an African Christmas, depending on if you are single, have a family, or the elderly. The Christmas celebration is a kind of routine every year for the republican of Kenya. A super … Do you know any African Christmas traditions? Your email address will not be published. Buying gifts is also quite rare since people cannot afford it. Also, most restaurants and shops will be closed since it is a national holiday, so most people do grocery shopping well in advance. The fanals are lit with candles inside and carried from house to house to collect donations. Read more about Christmas traditions in Africa, e.g. Have you ever thought of experiencing an African Christmas? Cakes or desserts are made of lychees that commonly grow in Madagascar. Christmas gift … I would love to hear your comments below! These children usually receive gifts afterward. 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 Africa, Christmas is all about festive concerts, sunny outdoor feasts and Christmas street parades. 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. Although Chad is predominantly Muslim, they do celebrate Christmas. Who needs snow for Christmas decorations? Interestingly, children of Uganda don’t believe in Santa Claus, which is why they never expect gifts. Share with us in the comments below! All that vitality comes to life through the festive mood of the people. Going to church on Christmas Eve is very common, and families eat dinner in large community gatherings is commonly observed, especially outside churches. No matter the size of the Christian population, almost every country in Africa has its own amazing way to celebrate the spiritual side of Christmas. 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 … Do you know how Christmas is celebrated in African countries? Geseende Kersfees (“Merry Christmas” in my home language, Afrikaans) from all of us here in South Africa!. 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. Christmas in South Africa and Namibia. The Gambia celebrates Christmas with a massive parade with large lanterns called fanal in the shape of boats. Instead, flowers are in full bloom, beautiful butterflies, bees and other insects are abundant, and the sun is always shining. Many families go camping in massive tents, while those staying in cities organize outdoor events like traditional barbecue (braai). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you could choose a country to visit during the holiday season to experience an African Christmas, which one would you choose and why? Africa is more than just safaris. Senegal does celebrate Christmas despite being a Muslim dominated country. To compete for her hand, they beat one another up. On Christmas morning, African people and groups of carolers walk around the village and sing Christmas … 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 … It’s no different in Africa, with many countries putting on their own traditional and delicious Christmas meals. Kwanzaa (/ ˈ k w ɑː n. z ə /) 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. RELATED CONTENT: 9 once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Tanzania with Trafalgar. Christmas: Around the World: Christmas in Africa. One of the most popular gifts across Africa is new clothes. Church congregations play a crucial role by organizing events to visit the orphanages, adult family, and homeless homes, to visit the families and children. There’s also double the celebration in Ghana, as Christmas falls at the same time as the end of the cocoa harvest. You can even read about the American slave experience in the children’s story, Irene Jennie and the Christmas Masquerade. The love feast is a ceremony where people come as they are to eat, drink, and be merry. The Coptic Christians in Egypt and Ethiopia actually celebrate Christmas on January 7th as they follow the older Julian calendar. 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. 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. 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