Christmas in Nigeria started as a purely religious celebration, but over the years it turned into one of the biggest annual cultural events. There are so many fascinating Nigerian Christmas traditions to observe with your family, and here are 5 most interesting ones.
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Any Christmas celebration in Nigeria cannot be imagined without fireworks and other ways to make the celebration loud and striking. During this time, it’s easy to tell it’s Christmas by the sound of the streets alone.
Starting from Christmas Eve and all the way throughout Christmas Day, Nigerian families celebrate Christmas with fireworks, bangers, and firecrackers.
This activity is popular among both adults and children. Children love to blow up firecrackers in the street, so you need to be prepared for unexpected loud noises if you go out on Christmas day in Nigeria.
With social media becoming a bigger part of Nigerian life, many families prefer to post photos and videos of their firework celebrations online for their friends and family members to see.
Many African Christmas traditions are shared by millions of people worldwide, and one of them is going all-in with Christmas decorations. Nigerians love decorating their homes with big Christmas trees, lights, and other celebratory decorations.
However, Nigerian homes are not the only place where you can see the Christmas decorations. Shopping malls and small stores, office buildings and city streets also get the luscious Christmas treatment.
Finally, most Nigerian families exchange Christmas cards during this wonderful holiday. Nigerian celebrities also issue Christmas cards with their own photos, but the truth is that any family can get their custom Christmas cards printed out if they want to!
3. Christmas dinner
One of the oldest and strongest Christmas traditions in Nigeria is the tradition of having the whole family sit together for a family dinner. Usually, the younger generations visit their parents and grandparents, but there are families whether one sibling visits the other, nephews visit their aunt and uncle, and so on.
There aren’t any strict traditions when it comes to the Christmas meal – it depends on the preferences of a particular family. However, the traditional Nigerian crowd favourites like roast chicken, jollof rice, Nigerian salad, puff puff, moi moi, and chin chin are always a great choice for a meal.
4. Father Christmas
Every culture has a figure they associate with bringing Christmas presents, and for many years young and adult Nigerians believed in Father Christmas.
Now, however, the concept of Santa Claus is gradually getting more and more popular, mainly thanks to the American culture. Today children write letters to Santa and people at work have Secret Santa gift exchanges.
Luckily, it doesn’t matter what you call the spirit of Christmas – the only thing that matters is that both Father Christmas and Santa Claus are the symbol of everything good we are looking forward to every year.
5. Christmas rice
Various rice dishes have become such a staple in Nigerian cuisine that modern Nigerians consider it to be one of the most popular parts of the Christmas tradition.
Nowadays Nigerians exchange Christmas wishes and add a promise to visit each other for Christmas rice or ask each other where their Christmas rice is. The rice in question can be either jollof or fried rice.
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