Although in many parts of the world the Christmas tradition has been exported as a celebration of mass consumerism and as a materialistic festivity, in other places it has remained a religious festivity, especially in those countries where Christianity is predominantly professed. .
Christmas in Africa is different in each of the countries that make it up. Let’s look at some of these traditions:
On the African continent, Christmas is celebrated in Christian communities and, just like us, it is based on the birth of Jesus. In the same way that it happens here, families also gather to enjoy these days with large banquets, although the type of food to taste is different.
In southern Africa, since the Christmas season coincides with summer, Christmas is celebrated on beaches, rivers or mountains, and the cold is not something that is associated with the festive atmosphere. Houses are often decorated and, as in some countries in Europe and America, children expect to receive gifts on Christmas morning. Braais, which are barbecues, are usually cooked, and countries like South Africa have traditional dinners that match their British colonial heritage. In Zimbabwe, goat meat, bread, jam and tea are usually eaten.
In West Africa, and especially in countries like Ghana, Cape Verde or the Ivory Coast, the Christmas season coincides with the cocoa harvest. The streets are adorned with palm trees with candles that symbolize the Christmas tree, and masses are celebrated in the churches. Dinners usually take place outdoors and typical dishes such as yam paste, called fufu, are served with stew or okra soup.
In East Africa, goats are bought at the local market and roasted in the open air. In Liberia, rice, beef and biscuits are also eaten. In Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, it is common to see storefronts decorated with fake snow. In Malawi it is common for young children to perform Christmas songs and dances from house to house on handmade instruments.
What is eaten in each country?
During the traditional Christmas dinner, in Ghana they eat typical dishes from there: okra soup and fufu, in Zimbabwe, goat meat, while in Kenya it is traditional to eat roast goat meat and Tuskers beer.
All these differences in the celebration account for the diversity that exists among Christian communities throughout the continent, which, in turn, is a reflection of the ethnic diversity that characterizes the region. However, as already mentioned, it is a festivity charged with spirituality that places the religiosity shared by the members of a community as a nodal point.