African Christmas

Looking for a lot of sun, flowers in full bloom, beach holidays and Christmas to top all of it look no further ~ Africa is the place to be!

Christianity on the African continent is one of the two most widely practiced religions along with Islam. In 2000 there were an estimated 380 million Christians in Africa and as a result Christmas is celebrated by large and small Christian communities around the African continent.

From Ghana to South Africa meats are roasted, gifts are exchanged, family visits are made and carols are sung on Christmas day. Kwanza, the festive season celebration of African heritage observed in USA is not celebrated in Africa and unless you’re in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, there is not a chance that anyone will enjoy a white Christmas but can instead look forward to a Christmas with a lot of sun.

Carol singing on Christmas Eve and even Carols by Candlelight services is a very popular activity in towns and cities. A lot of people also go to church on Christmas morning.

Gifts at Christmas is not as commercial as it is in Europe or North America but people who can afford it will still give gifts at Christmas but the emphasis is more on the religious aspect of celebrating the birth of Jesus. In rural Africa very few people can afford gifts and if they do buy gifts is will be in the form of school books, soap, candles or other practical goods.

As in most Christian cultures, dinner with friends and family tops the list after attending church. In East Africa, goats are bought at the local market for roasting on Christmas day. In South Africa, families will either barbeque (or braai as it’s known locally), or do a more traditional Christmas complete with paper hats, mince pies and turkey or gammon. 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.

Christianity in Africa dates back to the 1st Century and every missionary has found that since that time is that Africans are very spiritual people and that the focus of Christmas in Africa is going to church where nativity scenes are played out, carols are sung and sometimes dances are performed.

How to Say Happy Christmas

In Akan (Ghana) Afishapa In Zimbabwe

Merry Kisimusi In Afrikaans (South Africa)

Geseënde Kersfees In Zulu (South Africa)

Sinifisela Ukhisimusi Omuhle In Swazi (Swaziland)

Sinifisela Khisimusi Lomuhle In Sotho (Lesthoto)

Matswalo a Morena a Mabotse In Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya)

Kuwa na Krismasi njema In Amharic (Ethiopia)

Melkam Yelidet Beaal In Egyptian (Egypt)

Colo sana wintom tiebeen In Yoruba (Nigeria)

Source: goafrica.about.com/od/peopleandculture/a/christmas.htm

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