December is all about the festivities. Different people worldwide have their unique way of celebrating Christmas and Nigeria is no different. Nigerians usher in the festive season in a number of unique ways, which you might not exactly find anywhere else.
If you think about Christmas in Nigeria, then think about food, family, fashion and fun because that’s how they do it best. However, since a significant percentage of the population live in the cities, people travel a lot during this period, especially to upcountry destinations to be with their loved ones.
Here are other Nigerian Christmas traditions that you should know.
Christmas Concerts and Carols
Most of the congregants choose to use this time to share the message of happiness and giving by visiting different homes and singing Christmas carols to cheer people up. To get in the mood of the Christmas spirit, Nigerians engage in the yuletide practices to allow all the native activities to take place.
Inasmuch as different denominations, including Catholics and protestants have their own specification traditions, at this time of year they all put their differences aside and celebrate one thing- the birth of Christ. Moreover, these events create a great spectacle where different locals dress in brightly coloured local and foreign fashionable outfits. All these things mostly take place in and around well-decorated auditoriums and cathedrals.
Gift Giving and Santa
The festive season is all about thanksgiving and spreading the Christmas cheer. What better way is there to spread the Christmas spirit than giving gifts to your loved ones? The range of gifts is just as wide as most countries for Christmas, with any and everything from clothes, purses and bags, phones, Ankara fabric to plates, and crafts bringing a smile to many people’s faces. But who brings these gifts? Santa is very special in Nigeria. Commonly known as Father Christmas, here are the facts you need to know about him.
- Also referred to as Pastor Blessings
- There is no sleigh for Father Christmas, he uses more modern transport but with less boot space, like a bicycle or Porsche.
- Father Christmas acts as a corporate mascot.
- Father Christmas does not leave gifts for free at your tree, you have to pay first.
Nigeria has the most boisterous people you will ever find and during the Christmas season, everyone is out to have fun, including on road trips and excursions. The festive season is one of the most popular times for Nigerians in the Diaspora to come back home, in order to celebrate with family. Thus, you expect to have traffic of people and goods who try to go back to the villages.
Firecrackers and bangers are one of the biggest parts in enhancing the celebrations in Nigeria. They help to light up the mood hence the reason why children love to play with them, and they are everywhere. The huge sounds can be scary sometimes but the way they light up the night is truly a spectacle.
All The Food
Various foods are cooked, usually by all the women in the extended family. Cooking typically starts at the crack of dawn, there’s no time to waste. As much as a country like America has turkey as part of their Thanksgiving celebrations, chicken and hen are part of the Nigerian Christmas tradition. However, these traditions range from different communities. For example the Igbo people slaughter a goat. The meat makes a special meal called the Nkwobi to replace desserts.
Children are not forgotten as there are different types of goodies to make them happy as always. Candies and biscuits are part of the dream treat that they like. Also, neighbours like to exchange foods showing a sense of care to each other.
Christmas At The Beach
In the festive season, places for relaxation play a huge role in making Christmas special. The vast coastline and cliffs in Nigeria bring out a powerful thrill to enjoy Christmas time. Many hotels offer good package deals for people visiting with their families and friends so if you are thinking of trying something different, this is a great place visit.
Although there are many different types of traditions, cultures and languages spoken in Nigeria, the vast majority of people come together with common traditions to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
What do you like about Christmas in Nigeria? Does this sound like something worth exploring for yourself? Let us know in the comment section down below.
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