Christmas Holiday in Nigeria is a very huge celebration for everyone especially the Christians. People travel from far and wide with their families to their respective villages to celebrate it and participate in other fun & exciting activities.
It is usually a time of merriment with plenty food and drinks, gifts-giving and sharing and events such as the Christmas carol, Masquerade dances, inter-community football cups, etc.
It is a time of togetherness in the family and community at large which promotes Love, unity and oneness.
Here are top five Christmas traditions every naija person can relate with.( If there’s any one I miss by omission or commission, please share in the comments section thank you).
Here they are:
• Knock–outs: This is a popular name for bangers and firecrackers. Every Nigerian young or old, participates in this fun activity which also includes fireworks. Especially on the 25th and 31st of December being the Christmas Eve. It’s such a crazy, fun and adrenaline-filled activity. It’s a tradition and the fun part is the loud screams from passers-by and the race that follows once a banger blows up! 😂 But scary!
• Christmas Rice: I’m yet to come across a family that does not prepare Christmas rice on Christmas Day. It’s such a tradition. Whether jollof, fried, however. Usually prepared in large quantities to accommodate guests and relatives who may visit that day and also share with friends and neighbors. Its normally prepared with goat-meat, cow-meat (beef), turkey or chicken which are bought a few days before and tied in a particular spot or tree in the compound. It is a compulsory delicacy for Christmas celebration.
• Christmas Cloth: 25th of December is a special day all over the world. In Nigeria, it is usually celebrated with a special cloth. As a child, I always had a new Christmas dress every Christmas which I must wear on that particular day. It was so exciting wearing your brand new cloth on that day. Even adults are not left out. Everyone shops for a Christmas wear, it could be a custom design from ankara (our locally made fabric) or bought from a cloth-store. This tradition is sooo today! And very much relevant. No matter the social status or tribe, everyone gets a Christmas cloth. ( and perhaps, a shoe)
• Parties: Usually, Kids are taken to Christmas fun parties where they receive gifts from “father Christmas” our own Santa Claus. It’s something every child looks forward to during this period whether School parties or in the parks, etc. Some companies also host their end-of -year parties too where staff-members are entertained and served delicious meals. There’s also the street/state carnivals, the most popular being the calabar carnival which starts on the 1st of December through to the 31st. It’s such an ahhmaaaazing experience. You should come see it if you haven’t!
• Decorations: Even though this is kinda done all over the world, in Nigeria, some parts use woven or unwoven palm fronts. There’s also the Christmas tree and lights used not only in homes but major streets, malls, office buildings, etc. The electric-powered human size toy Father Christmas, and the gold-color ball decors.
Oh! Did I also mention this is a time the “osha” “Omata” boys come home to display their wealth emersed the whole year? Hehe. And some of our girls look their best for prospective suitors that may show up from home and abroad. And also, the price of groceries and almost everything goes up!
What I love about Christmas is the spirit of togetherness, the gifts sharing,( please I’ve since started receiving, you could still send in yours in the spirit of Xmas 😆). The many comedy shows and music concerts that make it Lit! And oh… The harmattan weather similar to the winter but quite milder.
I love Christmas! Do you? How do you spend yours? Please share and let’s connect on social.
Merry Xmas Y’all. 😘😘