Center for the Study of Global Christianity. How Do People Celebrate Christmas in Africa? In Afrikaans (one the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Geseënde Kersfees'; in Zulu it's 'UKhisimusi omuhle', in Sesotho it's 'Le be le keresemese e monate' and in Xhosa it's 'Krismesi emnandi'. After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. On Christmas Day carols are sung from Ghana to South Africa. The meal is often eaten outside in the summer sun! Children don’t usually get Christmas presents. Christmas (which means "The Mass of Christ") is a Christian holiday that refers to the birth of Jesus (whom Christians believe is the Son of God), and a cultural holiday for non-Christians.. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday? The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. In Ghana, on Africa's west coast, most churches herald the coming of Christmas by decorating the church and homes beginning … In 1984, Band Aid released the immortal Christmas song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" This means that although they celebrate on December 25, that date usually translates to January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. Coptic Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate Christmas according to the Coptic calendar. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. There are many children in Madagascar who will recite a popular poem around Christmas time. Christmas (or the Feast of the Nativity) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. In South Africa, families typically braai; or salute their colonial British heritage with a traditional Christmas dinner complete with paper hats, mince pies, and turkey. In Ghana, Christmas dinner is not complete without fufu and okra soup; and in Liberia rice, beef, and biscuits are the order of the day.Â. Customs, traditions, and even the date of the holiday differ from country to country but the religious foundation of the celebration remains the same, unifying people from all walks of life and a myriad different cultures. In December, many Christians celebrate a holiday called Christmas.1 What is Christmas? Decorating shop fronts, trees, churches, and homes is common throughout Christian communities in Africa. Then comment. The most common gift bought at Christmas is new clothes, usually intended to be worn to church. They receive small cash donations in return, in much the same way that Western children do when caroling. The crisis began between Christmas and New Year when Bonnie Saunders, a nurse at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales, developed coronavirus symptoms. 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. On the west coast of Africa, in Liberia, most homes have an oil palm for a Christmas tree, which is decorated with bells. Later on there is a feast of rice and yam paste called fufu with stew or okra soup, porridge and meats. Some experts believe that Christianity spread to North Africa before it arrived in Northern Europe. When does South Africa have Christmas? An interesting French Christmas tradition is that the French knot the ends of the tablecloth so the Devil can’t get under the table. 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. This holiday is more about going to church, eating together with the family and playing games. In Malawi, groups of young children go door-to-door to perform dances and Christmas songs to the accompaniment of homemade instruments. In The Gambia, for example, people parade with large lanterns called fanals, made in the shape of boats or houses. Christmas Day is a public holiday in Eritrea that is celebrated on January 7 or on 27 Tahsas of the Ethiopian calendar. The period before, during and after Christmas Day is marked by conviviality, merriment, wining and dining. It's a little too close to the equator for snow, Sir Bob I'm not sure if you know where Africa is or its size, but it's not all on the Equator. The Christmas tree is decorated some time before Christmas Day, so there’s plenty of time to be ready for Christmas Eve when Santa Claus comes. The day known as Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th day of December. In South Africa, the weeks before Christmas, people celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. It doesn't just have one type of weather. People start shopping for Christmas by early December. Here’s how it goes: A very popular Christmas poem that children perform in Madagascar is: Christmas in South Africa. Christmas Day is a public holiday. 9. On this day Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. For many people, Africa is synonymous with arid deserts and tropical jungles; hardly compatible with northern hemisphere ideas of Christmas. However, in many countries the celebration is very different than it is in North America or Europe. Many people mistakenly state that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” They do so, because they believe people have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Different groups in the Church, especially children, perform songs and plays celebrating the birth of Jesus. People also like to pull Christmas Crackers! Everyone counts down to the end of the year, when all their pent-up party mood is released. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. This is unarguably the most popular holiday in all of Africa, and Christians – who are the originators of Christmas – are not the only ones to celebrate the birth of the Christ. Christmas Poems in Madagascar. How Do People Celebrate New Year's Eve in Africa? It is a day when families attend … Christmas dinner is a key part of the festive ritual in Africa. The reason I bring this up is the Eritrean society celebrates two Christmas’s in a space of 14 days. The turkey’s acceptance into the Old World happened quickly. The Fulani tribe live in many countries in West Africa and follow a tradition called Sharo. Geseende Kersfees (“Merry Christmas” in my home language, Afrikaans) from all of us here in South Africa! 34 … Boxing Day is also a public holiday in South Africa and again people like to be 'out and about' having a good time! The greeting has been Africanized and here are 25 ways of saying Merry Christmas in Africa as documented by whychristmas.com. On Christmas day afternoon, people visit family and friends or might go for a trip into the country side to play games or have a swim. Even in some of Africa's predominantly Muslim countries, Christmas is still recognized as a secular celebration. In Afrikaans (one the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Geseënde Kersfees'; in Zulu it's 'UKhisimusi omuhle', in Sesotho it's 'Le be le keresemese e monate' and in Xhosa it's 'Krismesi emnandi'. 5)How about "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time"? Mince pies are also popular. And yet, Christmas is celebrated throughout the continent by Christian communities both large and small. This article was updated and re-written in part by Jessica Macdonald on November 7 2019. In the West African nation of Senegal, Islam is the main religion; and yet Christmas is designated as a national holiday along with Easter, the end of Ramadan, and Prophet Mohammed's birthday.This Mail & Guardian article shows how Senegalese Muslims and Christians … Most businesses are closed for the general population, and homes is common throughout Christian communities in Africa in IV. Countries around the world of boats or houses new clothes, usually intended to the! 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