Let’s put gifts aside to talk about other types of traditions.
The celebration of Christmas is not the same in all countries of the world. The customs and typical dishes vary depending on the area. As is logical, in Africa there are no snowy landscapes or fir trees at this time of year, but that does not mean that life is less intense.
Next, we are going to know a little better the Christmas traditions of Africa:
Family gatherings: The Christian communities present in Africa usually organize large banquets in which recipes based on meat and rice are the stars of the table.
Christmas gifts: The large-scale consumption that occurs on these dates in Western Europe has nothing to do with the way of understanding Christmas gifts in Africa. For example. In Zimbabwe gifts consist mainly of food.
When a family goes to visit someone’s house, they usually take with them some delicacy to share. In general, you will be able to see that all the doors of the houses remain open so that whoever wants to enter. It is a community party in the purest sense of the word.
Finally, we cannot leave aside the curious Day of Goodwill. In South Africa, December 26 is a day when donations are made to various charitable causes in order to help those in need. Let’s not forget that helping the underprivileged is an important part of the Christmas spirit.
Carols: In Africa they have a special touch. In Ghana, Christmas coincides with the time when cocoa is harvested, so this holiday is associated with prosperity. To celebrate this abundance, carols are often sung through the streets of the villages.
The Christmas tree: Before we said that in Africa you would not find the typical fir tree but that is not entirely true. In South Africa, gifts are left under the tree for the little ones, but it is a wire tree decorated with native symbols such as Zulu dolls. No Christmas balls and gold tinsel!
The Christmas table: As you can imagine, turkey is not part of the Christmas menu. You already know some of the typical Kenyan dishes, so surely you will not be surprised to discover that in this country, roast goat and beer are the most common products that can be found on a Christmas table.
Among the Kikuyu and Maasai tribes there are certain parts of the goat that are intended only for children and women. It is a real feast since absolutely nothing can be left over. The entire piece of meat must be consumed that same day.
After reading this article, there are undoubtedly certain differences between African and European Christmas traditions, but their essence is the same. It is a family celebration in which joy and meetings with our relatives are the most important part. Happy holidays wherever you are!