Christmas is not only one of the most awaited world-wide festival celebrating the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, but it is also a popular tradition across the globe for areunion of families and distant relatives, who use this holiday to bond and spend time together. There are many Christmas traditions and cultures, famous across the world and there are many rituals which are differently followed, which make the festival of different places different, and unique.
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Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate because it is winter time in most parts of the world. Secondly, it is a world-wide recognized holiday, hence most industries grant paid leaves to their employees, and third – it is the time of new year!
In African countries, however, Christmas is celebrateddifferently. Nigeria Culture is distinct from other parts of the world, in terms of many things. It is a topic of great interest and diversity, and if you are a college or university student, you might study about unique Christmas cultures in your sociology classes. If needed, you can get essays written for you on Nigerian traditions, which also includes Christmas as one of the most important times of the year.
The demography of Nigeria suggests that almost 60% of the people are Christians, while other 40% comprise of majorly Muslims and other religions. Many people also follow tribes and village culture, and mostly Nigeria belongs to rural and semi-rural areas.
· It is the time to bond – Nigerian families travel to villages from cities, to spend time with their relatives, and elderly who are still residing in rural areas. There they feast on festive foods and enjoy together. African cultures are pretty close and involve intimate relationships between families, and during holiday time, they come alive in the form of a country-wide celebration.
· Perfect time for Feasts – African cities and villages are famous for their peculiar, yet traditional food, which becomes the center of attraction during Christmas time. They feast on Nigerian meals, which includes chicken, goat, rice & stew, candies, rice pudding and biscuits in sweet-dishes. It is a tradition in Nigeria that mostly the women cook during holiday time. Either it is the woman of the house who cooks, or it is the eldest daughter. In any case, the cooking starts right when the day begins, and the meal served at the feast is sumptuous and fulfilling, compared to what they have access to, for the rest of the year.
· Shopping at its fullest –Christmas timeis the most celebrated time of the year, during which shopping is at full zenith. Children expect new clothes from their parents as a gift for the holiday, so the local shops and malls are full of shoppers and especially children during this time.
· Masquerade Dances – In many Nigerian cultures, masquerades dress up, like in Halloween in western countries, and they dance around in the neighborhoods, wandering from home to home, asking for money or gifts for the holiday season. People also give generously and do not disappoint or hurt the feelings of anyone.
· Holiday Decorations – Africans do not just decorate their own houses with colored balls and strings of lights, but they also light up the entire neighborhoods, markets, malls, streets and every place they go. Christmas trees can be seen anywhere, during this time of the year.
· Knock-Out – ‘All day knock-out’ is a famous phrase used by Nigerian folks, which refers totaking a leave and bursting crackers all day. Fireworks are common, yet a delectable sight in Nigeria. Every household engages itself in buying crackers and fireworks, to express their happiness for the festival.
· Father Christmas – Instead of western children asking for ‘Santa Claus’ to visit them at night, eat the cookies, drink the milk, and leave presents for them under the tree, African kids believe that father-Christmas will visit them and give them gifts. The culture of ‘Secret Santa’ was also popular in African offices and workplaces, where employees behaved as ‘Secret Santa’ for each other and gave each other presents generously.
· Animal Slaughter – Animal slaughter is a common sight in Nigerian subculture, where people purchase animals and birds like chicken, hen, ducks, goat and other mammals, and slaughter them for their festival feast. They also gift animals to their loved ones during this time, to mark the beginning of the celebration.
· Palm Decorations – As popular as the Christmas tree is in the west, the palm replaces it here in Nigeria. People use woven or sometimes, unwoven palm leaves to decorate their homes and offices. Palm is very common tree in the country, so it is seen abundantly as an item of decoration. It is also considered a good luck charm in many communities.