6 Reasons African Christmas is Better
In popular imagination – even our imagination as Africans – Christmas looks snowy, cold and filled with hot chocolate. But that’s not how our Christmas looks or feels in most African countries. Increasingly, the days in December are sweltering, most people are enjoying their first break of the year and the motto is to make it all count. So, who needs snow when we have all these African Christmas traditions to look forward to?
The Stokvel payout
Christmas is a great time of the year because those who are part of stokvels get their pay outs (whether the payout is in the form of cash, groceries or home improvement tools) just in time for the holiday. So you are guaranteed to be in very high spirits during the day and the festive season as a whole
The main meal
While we as Africans adopted our meat choices from the likes of Britain, we just do it better. Glazed gammon and turkey and pork belly and “turducken” tastes so much better with our many, different starches and accompaniments. A roast is perfectly delicious on its own, but it gets that extra thing when it’s accompanied by our starches such as basmati rice or isigwaqane or dumplings or ting or umnqusho or jollof rice.
You can spend Christmas outdoors in most African countries
Christmas falling on our summer means that you are not limited to spending the day indoors. You can have a family braai picnic or spend the day at the beach. Some families even go camping during this time of the year.
A different kind of carolling
Many young people get new outfits to mark the occasion which they will spend most of the afternoon showing off to and with their friends. Often, groups of kids will go door to door showing off their outfits to their neighbours and collect a few treats. This is a tradition that spreads a bit of joy.
Music is in the air
While most people will go to a church service in the mornings where they will enjoy the gospel and praise, the rest of the day is filled with a different kind of music. Party tunes are the order of the day, as opposed to sleep-inducing carols.
A few songs that sound like Christmas:
Vulindlela – Brenda Fassie
Music in the Air – Letta Mbulu
Ngihamba Nawe – Mafikizolo
Chop My Money – P-Square
The probability of rain
There’s nothing better than a rainy Christmas night to help you relax after a long, activity-filled day. When you have spent the day eating and entertaining and dancing, a rainy night is a perfect way to unwind from the day. Rain is also great for getting rid of guests who have overstayed their welcome. But the best thing yet is that it’s not winter rain! It’s likely going to be a Highveld storm.
What songs sound like Christmas to you?