World Of Christmas
Read about Christmas and its traditions in Africa and African Christmas customs.

Christmas in Africa

In Congo in Africa, a group is designated just to prepare the annual Christmas pageant. In the Christmas morning, African people and groups of carolers walk around the village and sing Christmas carols. They then go to home to wear festive clothes and take love offerings for Jesus to the special service that is held at the house of worship. In the church, the birthday of Jesus is celebrated and people keep their gifts upon the raised platform near the Communion table. After the service, people invite friends to Christmas dinners arranged in front of their homes.

Since Christmas falls in summers in South Africa, it is not the snowy dark winter night but sunshine and blooming flowers that grace the Christmas Eve. There are summer holidays in schools and camping is common. In large centers, there is special screening and floorshows are arranged. Carols by candlelight are common events too. People use pine branches for home decor and Christmas fir is put in a corner with presents for children of the household around its base. At bedtime, children often hang stockings in which Father Christmas can keep their presents.

26th of December is known as the Boxing Day and is a proclaimed public holiday. It is the day to relax. In Ghana, on the west coast of Africa, churches and homes are decorated with the first week of Advent, four weeks before Christmas. Christmas time is the time for cocoa harvest and hence people have prosperous and money to spare. Everybody return to homes on Christmas Eve including farmers and miners. Children sing Christmas carols and march down the streets shouting, "Christ is coming!". In the evening, a special service is held in the churches, which are decorated with evergreen and palm trees and lighted candles. Nativity plays are conducted and people sing hymns. Everybody dresses up as Christmas angels on the main day and sing Christmas carols at home and dress up in native or Western attire for the church service.

The traditional Christmas feast consists of rice, meats, porridge, okra soup or stew and yam paste called fufu. Families and close friends gather at the feast and share gifts and presents. An oil palm decorated with bells is used as the Christmas tree in Liberia. In the morning of Christmas, they wake up with carols and share utility items such as soaps and pencils as Christmas gifts. Christmas dinner in Liberia is arranged outdoors and the traditional dishes consist of rice, beef and biscuits. Traditional Christmas games serve as afternoon pastime while the advent of Christ is celebrated in the night with fireworks.