Merry Christmas! Christmas in Nigeria is a huge celebration for all citizens. And not only those who belong to the Christian faith. A lot of people travel home to their villages and families come together to celebrate and have fun. In this post, we will talk about 5 Christmas traditions in Nigeria.
For some Nigerians, it is a time to change clothes and get beautiful shoes. Lights illuminate the streets, gifts exchange hands, loud noise in the streets, dancing and songs.
And for some others, it is a time to get married. People travel to their respective state or origin to celebrate with their loved ones. It is often a time for a family reunion, a time to re-strategize and focus. You travel to the village and your grandfather reminds you of how he wants to carry his great-grandchildren.
5 Christmas Traditions In Nigeria
1. Christmas Cloth
Nigerians go all out on shopping for the holidays no matter the tribe, religion or social status. And most importantly, they select the most gorgeous of all apparel to wear on the 25th of December.
Some families go all out to make custom designs, identical fabrics or uniform colors for every single member of the family. In some areas, families try to outdo each other by wearing elaborate styles on the day.
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2. Firecrackers and Fireworks
It is normal to frequently hear the sound of bangers( firecrackers) being lit and set off by kids at Christmas. Adults also indulge. Also, fireworks set off in the night lighting up the sky alerting everyone to the coming of Christmas time. The frequency and intensity of bangers being set off increases with Christmas day being the peak.
3. “Do Christmas For Me Na”
Once the economic indices are favorable, expect to meet Nigerians with disposable spending power. Chances are that you will encounter the words- “Aunty/Uncle, come do Christmas for me”, local parlance soliciting assistance, financial or otherwise, in marking the festivities. You would be wrong to think that only children would engage in this; in reality, anybody could ask for assistance, especially when the person being solicited is perceived to be at the upper rungs of the economic ladder.
4. Christmas Rice and Chicken
Although Nigerians have been creative with finding other ways to cook rice, jollof rice still remains a favorite for Christmas. On Christmas Day, so much rice is served and eaten with almost all meals shared with relatives catching up on all that has transpired that year.
5. Father Christmas
Originally, Nigerians expect only “Father Christmas” to visit them on Christmas day with gifts and goodie bags. The idea of Santa only started creeping into the country in recent times from American media and citizens who have migrated into the country. Now, offices have ‘Secret Santa’ events where people exchange gifts, write Santa lists and families take their children dressed in new outfits to see Santa Claus.