Christmas in Congo
In Congo in Africa, a group is assigned to prepare an annual Christmas pageant. On Christmas morning, African people and groups of carolers walk around the village and sing Christmas carols. They then go home to dress in festive clothes and take or make love offerings for Jesus to the special service that is held at the local house of worship. In the church, the birthday of Jesus is celebrated and people keep their gifts upon the raised platform near the Communion table. After the service, people invite friends to Christmas dinners arranged in front of their homes.
Christmas in South Africa
Since Christmas falls in summer in South Africa, it is not the snowy dark winter night but sunshine and blooming flowers that adorn the Christmas Eve. There are summer holidays in schools and camping is common. In large centers, there is special screening and floor shows are arranged. People celebrate with carols by candlelight, and homes are decorated with pine branches. Christmas fir is put in a corner with presents for children of the household around its base. At bedtime, children often hang stockings in which Father Christmas can keep their presents.
Christmas in Ghana
In Ghana, the 26th of December is known as Boxing Day and is a proclaimed public holiday. It is a day of rest and relaxation. Churches and homes are decorated for the first week of Advent, four weeks before Christmas. Christmas time is time for the cocoa harvest and hence people are prosperous and have money to spare. On Christmas eve everybody return to homes including farmers and miners. Children sing Christmas carols and march down the streets shouting, “Christ is coming!”. In the evening, a special service is held in the churches, which are decorated with evergreen and palm trees and lighted candles. Nativity plays are performed and people sing hymns. Everybody dresses up as Christmas angels on the main day and sing Christmas carols at home and dress up in native or Western attire for the church service.
The traditional Christmas feast consists of rice, meats, porridge, okra soup or stew and yam paste called fufu. Families and close friends gather at the feast and share gifts and presents. An oil palm adorned with bells is used as the Christmas tree in Liberia. In the morning of Christmas, people awake with carols and share utility items such as soaps and pencils as Christmas gifts. Christmas dinner in Liberia is arranged outdoors and the traditional dishes consist of rice, beef and biscuits. Traditional Christmas games serve as afternoon pastime while the advent of Christ is celebrated in the night with fireworks.
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We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! In honor of this holiday, we thought we’d give you a few ideas about how Christmas is celebrated throughout Africa. Maybe you can bring some of these traditions into your celebration!