Christmas in Africa
Where Are the Lights You Say?
It’s two days after the longest day of the year and lights are hot and expensive.
Where are the Decorations then?
Now that is an easy question to answer. The decorations are mostly imported and cost more than the celebrations.
Life is Simple.
Life in Africa is simple and when it comes to Christmas, all the money for celebrations go into food. At Christmas, having and buying extra food to celebrate with, is a great feast for most people.
Food is used as Christmas Decorations.
The colorful food and their wrappers are used as decoration a make a show of festivities and prosperity. These display a time of joy and celebration in eating what usually can’t be afforded at other times through the year.
Christmas is for the Children.
This is a time that the African people spoil the children. Sweets and food are the main way this is done.
Did I not Mention Clothes?
Clothes are bought by the ones who have more money to spend in the festive season.
Clothes, Trinkets, and a Bicycle.
For some, over and above the food are clothes and transport. These are bought from the end of year bonus money and savings. Rather than buy these things at any other time of the year, they are saved to be bought during the festivities, as part of the celebrations.
Of course Fridges and Stoves Feature.
Christmas is also the time the house is blessed and the whole family is given one or more appliances as a joint family present and of course food and lots of it.
Now Comes the Car or Pickup.
Like their western cousins, the African people also buy a car or a pickup as a celebration. Note – it is mostly bought at Christmas to celebrate the success of that time of the year. Decorative trees and lights are not a big deal in Africa, because of the heat, long days and the lack of fir trees.
Cell Phones and Music.
Radios and cell phones feature big in Africa. In fact they are more of a status symbol than in the rest of the world. Mostly these items are bought for the spouse or parent in the celebrations.
Blessed or Not?
To the African people by in large, buying things at Christmas has a blessing. A tradition in Africa has developed that items acquired at Christmas time are blessed. Such as the car lasts longer and gives less trouble. A cow given on this occasion gives more milk and has more calves and so on. So Christmas does have a special meaning to the people of Africa, apart from the fact that the Son of God was born.