Christmas is celebrated by Christians as a commemoration of Jesus’ birth and is celebrated all across the globe, and Africa is not exempted from these celebrations.
1. Orthodox Christmas
Not all countries in Africa celebrate Christmas Day on the 25th of December. Some African countries celebrate Orthodox Christmas, neglecting the Gregorian calendar and following the Julian year. Countries such as Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January.
2. Old Man Baykal of Liberia
Santa Claus is not the holiday mascot in some African countries. In Liberia, Old man Bayka is the mascot for the holiday season.
And unlike his western counterpart, he doesn’t give presents; he instead goes around the streets begging for gifts on Christmas morning. ‘My Christmas on you is the greeting used in Liberia in place of the usual ‘Merry Christmas.’
3 Ivy decorations
Zimbabweans decorate their homes not with the usual pine trees but with other trees and plants, one of which is ivy.
4. Christmas Eve vigils
In Kenya, vigils known as ‘Kesha’ are held on Christmas Eve. The church bells ring at midnight to mark the birth of Jesus, and hymns and carols are then sung in celebration. They go home after to begin their parties and feasting; there is little to no sleep on Christmas Day.
5. The Fanal parade
The carnival of Fanal parade is an event held in Gambia. The people are seen after church services with fanals, a small ship made of paper, and bamboo sticks usually decorated with candles and lights on the inside. These fanals are used to collect donations from households in the neighborhood.