In Africa, Christmas is one of the most joyous holidays that exist, celebrated by the great Christian communities that inhabit the continent and that also celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a holiday with a very spiritual sense.
The tradition of meeting loved ones and enjoying special feasts with large amounts of meat and rice is present in Africa.
For example, during the traditional Christmas dinner, in Ghana typical dishes are eaten there: okra soup and fufu, in Zimbabwe, goat meat, while in Kenya it is traditional to eat roast goat meat and Tuskers beer.
These days it is also normal for tourist centers to offer Western-style parties and dinners for travelers who decide to spend the holidays in African lands.
Christmas in Africa is not a time of mass consumption, but it is true that there are countries where people exchange gifts. For example, in Zimbabwe, when religious acts end, it is common for people to go out to start the real celebration. Families visit their friends until they get home and at each stop they exchange gifts and food with the hosts. In South Africa they have a day called ‘Goodwill Day’ in which they make donations of any kind to those who need it most.
Christmas carols are also sung in Africa on Christmas Day, both in the northern and southern regions. And it is that 350 million Christians live on the continent. For example, in the Congo there are many people and groups of carol singers who walk throughout the village while singing. Then they get ready and go to church to make their offerings. After the service is over, friends are invited to organize a dinner at home.
For its part, in the Congo, where 80% of the population is Christian, musical events are held in which up to six choirs participate. Afterwards, plays are made in which scenes from the Bible are recreated, both from Genesis and the Birth of Jesus.
To finish we are going to talk about those traditions related to Christmas trees, you should know that not all of them are as we imagine them. The one they put up in South Africa is something like a structure made of wires that they later decorate with elements from there, such as Zulu dolls. And if we go to Liberia we will see that his Christmas tree is actually a palm with oil.
Unless you are in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, the chances of enjoying a White Christmas are very slim. However, even in Muslim majority countries, Christmas is a day to live as a family, joining the Christian celebration because they recognize Jesus as a prophet. In Senegal, for example, street vendors also sell inflatable Christmas trees and Santa Claus.