Christmas in Zambia, Celebration And Traditions Of Christmas in Zambia
The year has come to an end the time of festivity is gaining traction with Christmas day getting near. People in Zambia might have already started preparing for the festival with shopping on board. Christmas celebration in Zambia is amongst the famous celebrations of the festival around the world. Want to know what is it being a part of the celebration of Christmas in Zambia and how to celebrate Christmas in the Zambia? Here is our article on Christmas Traditions in Zambia to make your festival happy and special.
Merry Christmas in Zambia
Christmas is considered as the festival of Christians and majorly celebrated in countries like USA, Canada, UK and other parts of Europe. However, only few will be there who will consider Africa being one of the countries celebrating Christmas. But, one thing is for sure, Zambians celebrate Christmas with full joy and happiness. Merry Christmas in Zambia is celebrated by decorating houses, Christmas tree, and a variety of food items. They party all day and night as per Christmas Traditions in Zambia.
Here we will now discuss about the celebration and tradition of celebrating Christmas in Zambia. After reading this article, you will also get to know about how to celebrate Christmas in Zambia.
Christmas Traditions in Zambia
In Zambia, people visit Churches in the morning to attend Christmas carols during prayer time. After the morning rituals, they party throughout the day with their family and friends. They remain excited weeks before the festival and start cooking sweets as per the Christmas Traditions in Zambia. A couple of days before the eve, they get out of their homes to sing carols around local streets for charity. It is one of the unique Christmas Traditions in Zambia which makes the celebration here look poles apart from other countries.
Children too, take part in Christmas celebration in Zambia by offering gifts to children who are in the hospital or who are less fortunate. Allowing kids to do such deeds brings happiness and generosity in their hearts, and they get to know the value of food, shelter, and love which some unfortunate ones do not get.
Christmas in Zambia
Many churches in Zambia have nativity plays and a crib in the church. One or two days before Christmas, Zambians like to go carol singing around the local streets for charity.
On Christmas day, children are encouraged to bring a present to church for children who are in hospital or might not get a present because they are less fortunate. After church, on Christmas day, it is a custom that all the children go to one house and all the adults go to another house to have a party and to eat!
Christmas in Kenya is considered one of the biggest festivities of the year. Despite being celebrated by Christians only, the spirit is spread to other religions, so the union is greater in these special dates and the spirit of community takes over.
The preparations start at the beginning of December. One of the first steps is to get the necessary food and the clothing that we want to wear for the first time or give away, to avoid the last minute rush and price increases.
As happens in Spain, the roads are very busy at this time of the year, but in this case with matatus (typical transport) or mini buses, full of goats, chickens, suitcases, furniture, sacks of food and people looking to meet their families, whom they mostly see in these holidays, in their rural areas.
On Christmas Eve the preparations for Christmas seriously begin: the last purchases are made and the crews are organised to cook until the wee hours of the morning. Each and every one of the members of the family is involved in these culinary marathons. While some cut vegetables, others gather firewood; the bravest pursue and sacrifice the cattle chosen for the occasion, and both the young and the elder sing carols and traditional songs that are heard everywhere. The firecrackers are the focus of the night at the moment when the clock strikes 00:00 hours, the noise announces the arrival of Christmas.
The typical Christmas meal is meat stew with potatoes and vegetables, accompanied by chapati or corn cake; pilau, which is a spicy rice of arab origin; and goat or cow meat on the grill.
Christmas day starts very early, at 5.30 am. Children prepare themselves to go to church and other members of the family take care of the decoration: “you have to buy a lot of tinsel and the biggest balloons in the shop”. “It is tradition to wear new shoes and even socks, if you haven’t been able to buy them you have to wear the best ones you have and clean them until they are shiny”. After lunch, if you are close to the city, families gather in a park to take pictures that will them be distributed and framed in every house.
In the villages, as they gather up to 100 people, the meals always lengthen until dinner time becoming an authentic celebration in which the members of the family dance and sing around the fire.
In regards to New Years, the celebration is similar to the Spanish one, drinking and dancing, with the exception that there are no grapes and the countdown begins in the last five seconds.
Christmas in Zambia is not like in the rest of the world or at least as we usually see in movies. Not only does it not snow, but it is also very warm, reaching a temperature of 35 degrees; people do not wear hats; sleighs do not exist and in the queues of the shopping centers, although they are full of lights, Christmas trees and Santa hats, you only see carts full of food and cleaning products. But all this does not mean it is not as special.
Zambia is a country where religion is something that can’t be missed during these dates especially, that is why most of the churches decide to organise meetings that can last up to 2 or 3 days, where they combine talks with prayers and celebrations. In addition, many churches in Zambia perform nativity games and have a crib in the church. One or two days before Christmas, they sing carols in the streets.
The most important day is December 24, Christmas Eve. The Zambians go to church during the day and many people stay until midnight to celebrate together the birth of Jesus. From 00:00h, it is also very common to hear fireworks, firecrackers, cars honking and, above all, music. In Zambia music is never lacking.
These being stipulated days, the families who can afford it also have special food. A chicken is usually killed, rice is eaten instead of nshima (a typicn dish in Zambia which is usually eaten every day) and there are soft drinks for everyone. There are very few famiies that can afford to give gifts, this is why it is not a tradition to have Santa Claus or Wise Men.
On their behalf, on December 31 at around 10:00 pm they go to mass and then, all together, count down 10 seconds and have dinner.
In conclusion, for the Zambians these are days of celebration on which they do what they like the most, going to mass, being in family, listening to music and dancing.