A typical African Christmas celebration

December 23, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Joseph Besong

Christmas, though a Christian feast, is celebrated with a lot of fanfare in Africa. Everyone in the continent, young, old, rich, Christian, pagan, etc, partake in the feast. If you want to know the hospitality of Africans, visit any country of your choice during the Christmas period.

From West Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa, the same anxiety and preparations are commonplace. Many people begin planning for the feast of Christmas six months before the actual day in December each year. It’s an obligation for most parents to provide new clothes and shoes to their children. Even the poorest household in Africa manages to provide a good meal worthy of the name on Christmas.

It is always interesting to see how much love and care exists in families and communities across the entire continent. Some families will distribute items like rice, meat, fish, and other food stuffs before Christmas proper. Africans abroad are fond of travelling home to celebrate Christmas with loved ones. Even those who couldn’t make it are together in spirit. Travel is not limited to those traveling to Africa from abroad but also those traveling from the cities across the continent to spend the day at home (villages) with their family members. Those traveling to the villages are regarded as guests while the villagers host them. It’s interesting to witness how love transcends among families with the spirit of Christmas. In fact, everyone looks forward to some quality food and drinks during this season.

Prior to Christmas, hygiene is an important aspect in most cities and rural areas. The sanitation department enforced that everyone keep his/her environment clean. Parents make sure the children have their new clothes and shoes three days before Christmas to avoid any ugly scenes. This narrative doesn’t mean everyone has the same degree of enjoyment or fulfillment during Christmas, there are still families and communities that struggle in order to make Christmas a reality. Every child in Africa wishes for Christmas to come as fast as possible so they can enjoy all the goodies.

As mentioned above, the feast of Christmas is a Christian commemoration. Africans who are Christians go with the flow. During this time, they double the number of times they go to church. The climax is the Christmas Eve Masses or services. In Africa, even those who don’t go to church on a regular basis make it a duty to be present on this day. They believe special blessings are possible on this day. Everyone is involved in one way or the other. Priests and pastors prepare beautiful sermons on this day too.

Christmas 2016 is just around the corner. Many Africans are preparing in a special way to make this year’s feast as memorable as possible. With the nice weather usually possible in December throughout the continent, it’s surely going to be another great Christmas. The West call theirs “white” Christmas because of the snow fall but Africans’ goes the African way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joseph besong

Joseph Besong

I am the editor-in-chief of Kilimandjaro radio. I hail from Africa, precisely from Cameroon in Central Africa.

I did my secondary education at Bishop Rogan College Soppo-Buea located in the South West Region of Cameroon. After graduation, I proceeded to the University of Buea-Cameroon where I read English minor in Journalism and Mass Communication. I later worked in Cameroon as a broadcaster with Two radios namely Radio Evangelum and CBS Radio all located in Buea.

Presently, I work with Kilimandjaro radio, an online radio station based in Canada.

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