The meal is often eaten outside in the summer sun! And many people go to a Christmas morning Church Service. 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. Listen to Twelve Days of Christmas with a South African spin over here: It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The reason I bring this up is the Eritrean society celebrates two Christmas’s in a space of 14 days. In Afrikaans (one the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Geseënde Kersfees’. Even in some of Africa's predominantly Muslim countries, Christmas is still recognized as a secular celebration. The date is traditional and is not considered to be the actual date of his birth. Christmas dinner is a key part of the festive ritual in Africa. After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. Even in the northern half of the continent, you have very little chance of enjoying a white Christmas (unless you're in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco). Have a look. Christmas Day is a public holiday. South Africa also has several other UK Christmas traditions, because of its history with the UK. Anouk is a travel writer, editor, and agent raised in Malawi and Kenya with more than 15 years of experience working in the African travel industry. 34 … Christmas Day, celebrated on December 25 in Catholic, Protestant, and most Orthodox churches, is a public holiday in South Africa. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. The sapin de noël. The history of Christianity in Africa dates back to the 1st century AD, when Egyptian converts founded some of the earliest Christian communities in the world. Our nation is called the Rainbow Nation because we have a diversity of races, languages (eleven to be exact) and traditions. People also like to pull Christmas Crackers! Kwanzaa (the celebration of African heritage observed in the United States and often associated with the festive season) is not celebrated in Africa. 9. The greeting has been Africanized and here are 25 ways of saying Merry Christmas in Africa as documented by whychristmas.com. Boxing Day is also a public holiday in South Africa and again people like to be 'out and about' having a good time! Going to church is usually the main focus of Christmas celebrations in Africa. Nativity scenes are played out, carols are sung and in some cases dances are performed. 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. Coptic Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate Christmas according to the Coptic calendar. Christmas Poems in Madagascar. Christmas in South Africa. And yet, Christmas is celebrated throughout the continent by Christian communities both large and small. 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'. 10. Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. In rural Africa, few people can afford frivolous gifts or toys, and in any case, there are not many places to buy them. Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells the favorite story, "A Christmas Carol." Those who can afford it will generally give gifts at Christmas, although the holiday is not nearly as commercial in Africa as it is in Europe or North America. - www.whychristmas.com, a traditional South African dessert called Malva Pudding (sometimes also called Lekker Pudding) - get the recipe, Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. On Christmas morning, people are woken up by carols. And yes, Sting was on this song. In Ghana, on Africa's west coast, most churches herald the coming of Christmas by decorating the church and homes beginning … An interesting French Christmas tradition is that the French knot the ends of the tablecloth so the Devil can’t get under the table. 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. The day known as Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th day of December. It was created by Maulana Karenga, based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of Africa, including West and Southeast Africa.Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966. This article was updated and re-written in part by Jessica Macdonald on November 7 2019. If it's really hot they might even have a barbecue or 'braai'. The African country with the highest percentage of Christians is Zambia with 95.5 percent, followed by the Seychelles and Rwanda. This holiday is more about going to church, eating together with the family and playing games. It doesn't just have one type of weather. Every country has its own unique celebrations no matter how small its Christian population. In East Africa, goats are purchased at the local market for roasting on Christmas Day. 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. African families celebrate Christmas just as you do in the northern hemisphere; Christmas Day lunch, Christmas … Carols by Candlelight services are also popular on Christmas Eve. Later on there is a feast of rice and yam paste called fufu with stew or okra soup, porridge and meats. In South Africa, the weeks before Christmas, people celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. 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. On this day Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. © Copyright 2000 - 2021 James Cooper | About the site | Cookies & Privacy | Site Map | Other Links | Support | Website logistics by LetterBlock | Proud Affiliate of the Merry Network, whychristmas?com answers your Christmas questions! 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. Shoes in front of the fireplace Plan Your Christmas Vacation to Eastern Europe, How the Christmas Season is Celebrated in New Zealand, Everything You Need to Know About Time in Africa, Celebrate Christmas Italian Styles at These City Events, Learn What's Different About Christmas in Peru, 10 Best Annual Events and Festivals in Africa, 13 Days in China with Viking River Cruises, The Best Places to See Christmas Lights in and Near Nashville. Going carol singing, on Christmas Eve, is very popular in towns and cities. Meats are roasted, gifts are exchanged, and people travel far and wide to visit family. They receive small cash donations in return, in much the same way that Western children do when caroling. The schools are closed for the Christmas holidays and some people like to go camping. On the west coast of Africa, in Liberia, most homes have an oil palm for a Christmas tree, which is decorated with bells. People start shopping for Christmas by early December. In Brazil, you say ‘Bom Natal’ or ‘Boas Festes’ if you wish somebody Merry Christmas. Observed on December 25 every year, Christmas in Nigeria is at once both a religious and cultural celebration among millions of adherents in the country. During this season, there is particular emphasis on an event that occurred around 2,000 years ago in the town of Bethlehem in Judea (today called Israel). Madagascar, island country lying off the southeastern coast of Africa. Another pagan custom called wassailing, or singing from door to door, also became very popular among Christmas celebrants. In South Africa, he is also called Sinterklass or Kersvader. How Do People Celebrate Christmas in Africa? 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. Boxing Day is also a proclaimed public holiday usually spent in the open air. On Christmas Day carols are sung from Ghana to South Africa. The turkey’s acceptance into the Old World happened quickly. In Malawi, groups of young children go door-to-door to perform dances and Christmas songs to the accompaniment of homemade instruments. Because South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas comes in the summer. Many people who are Christian in the two countries fast for 40 days (it is called fast of the prophets). Children don’t usually get Christmas presents. When does South Africa have Christmas? Either way, Christmas is a time for family and merrymaking. Different groups in the Church, especially children, perform songs and plays celebrating the birth of Jesus. 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.. On Christmas Day the family gathers at a ‘braai’, which is the South African version of a barbecue (BBQ). Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, is popular all over Africa, wherever Christianity is. This poem is a great way for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit and to be excited about the big night. The services start about 5.00pm and last until after midnight! Traditional 'fir' Christmas Trees are popular and children leave a stocking out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. M erry Christmas and Happy New Year or is it Happy New year and Merry Christmas, perhaps it is Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Merry Christmas again! To compete for her hand, they beat one another up. Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday? The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. Of course, the evergreen firs and pines favored in North America and Europe are hard to come by in Africa, so Christmas trees are usually replaced by native or synthetic alternatives. The crisis began between Christmas and New Year when Bonnie Saunders, a nurse at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales, developed coronavirus symptoms. Everyone counts down to the end of the year, when all their pent-up party mood is released. Then comment. This means that although they celebrate on December 25, that date usually translates to January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. In most countries, Christmas is a public holiday and people make the most of the opportunity to visit family and friends. It celebrates Jesus' birth. However, in many countries the celebration is very different than it is in North America or Europe. South Africa holidays 2022. 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'. In Akan (Ghana): AfishapaIn Shona (Zimbabwe): Muve neKisimusiIn Afrikaans (South Africa):  Geseënde KersfeesIn Zulu (South Africa):  Sinifisela Ukhisimusi OmuhleIn Swazi (Swaziland):  Sinifisela Khisimusi LomuhleIn Sotho (Lesotho):  Matswalo a Morena a MabotseIn Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya): Kuwa na Krismasi njemaIn Amharic (Ethiopia): Melkam Yelidet BeaalIn Egyptian Arabic (Egypt): Colo sana wintom tiebeenIn Yoruba (Nigeria): E ku odun, e hu iye' dun. Although located some 250 miles from the African continent, Madagascar’s population is primarily related not to African peoples but rather those of Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles to the east. 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 … This Mail & Guardian article shows how Senegalese Muslims and Christians have chosen to unofficially celebrate each other's holidays, laying the foundation for the country's renowned atmosphere of religious tolerance.Â. Santa Claus is also known as Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) & Kersvader (Father Christmas) for people who speak Afrikaans (which has a base in Dutch). The UK recorded 1,325 virus deaths yesterday - its highest ever daily toll - 101 cases higher than the death toll of 1,324 recorded during the peak of the first wave in April. You may see fake snow decorating store fronts in ​Nairobi, palm trees laden with candles in Ghana, or oil palms loaded with bells in Liberia. 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. 5)How about "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time"? For many people, Africa is synonymous with arid deserts and tropical jungles; hardly compatible with northern hemisphere ideas of Christmas. Decorating shop fronts, trees, churches, and homes is common throughout Christian communities in Africa. During Christmas time, children expect a new cloth, called a “Christmas cloth”, from their parents. Sharo happens when two young men want to marry the same woman. In southern hemisphere countries December represents the height of summer; which is why a typical Christmas Day in places like South Africa often involves beach trips, sunbathing sessions, and eating al fresco. So there's lots of sun and beautiful flowers in full bloom. 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