How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria and around the world

This article will review how Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria and around the world. Looking into each country of the world and observe the style in which they celebrate Christmas, let start.

Let start with Nigeria how we Nigeria celebrate the Christmas, Christmas in Nigeria is a family event, a time when lots of family members come together to celebrate and have fun. Most families, that live in cities, travel to the villages where their grandparents and older relatives live.

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria

Many different languages are spoken in Nigeria. In Hausa Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘barka dà Kirsìmatì’; in Yoruba it’s ‘E ku odun, e ku iye’dun’; for Fulani it’s ‘Jabbama be salla Kirismati’; in Igbo (Ibo) ‘E keresimesi Oma’; in Ibibio ‘Idara ukapade isua’ and it’s Edo it’s ‘Iselogbe’. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.

Many families will throw out Christmas parties that will last all night long on Christmas Eve! Then, on Christmas Morning, they go to church to give thanks to God. Homes and streets are often decorated. Most homes will have an artificial Christmas tree.  How Christmas is celebrated

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria

Children love to play with firecrackers at Christmas. The church choir may visit the church congregation in their homes to sing Christmas carols to them. Christmas cards  are sent to friends and family members. Gifts are exchanged amongst family members and some families may take their children dressed in new outfits to see Santa Claus.

In addition to serving turkey, a traditional Christmas meal in Nigeria may include beef, goat, sheep, ram or chicken. Other dishes might included pounded yam, jollof rice, fried rice, vegetable salad a salad and some type of stew.

READ ALSO. 100 Merry Christmas 2017 Wishes, Messages, Ouotes and pictures Sms

Christmas Events in Nigeria.

There are many notable Christmas in Nigeria. The leading one is the Calabar carnival which is celebrated everyy Christmas period around December 24 – 31. How Christmas is celebrated

Calabar Carnival

Calabar Carnival 2017 theme has been decided, the theme is Migration. About two million people every year gather in the city of Calabar to celebrate the festival. According to the official website, Carnival Calabar Festival in Nigeria, also tagged ” Africa’s Biggest Street Party”, was created as part of the vision of making the Cross River State in Nigeria, the No. 1 tourist destination for Nigerians and tourist all over the world.

Akwa Ibom Christmas Carols Festival

This is another great gathering to celebrate Christmas in Nigeria. Christians around Nigeria come together to worship God in songs and praises. According to their website, The Akwa Ibom Christmas Carols Festival is an annual evening celebration of songs and dance with thousands of voices raised in worship to God. This festival brings together a host of worshippers and features a large assembly of carol singers and some of the best local and international gospel artistes of our time.

One Lagos Fiesta

One Lagos Fiesta is the great Christmas event celebrated in Lagos the commerecial centre of Nigeria. Lagos is one of the most populous city in the world. One Lagos Fiesta is a celebration of the culture, art and people residing in Lagos the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and Africa’s mega city.

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria

How Christmas is celebrated in UK

The saying, a contraction of ‘It is the season’, has been immortalised in the popular Christmas song ‘Deck the Halls’, which entreats us all to be jolly over the Yuletide season. in the UK, that means the usual schedule of dragging a fir tree (artificial or real) into our homes, decorating it in lights and colourful tinsel, and gorging ourselves on as much food and drink until we can no longer stand.

Some countries do things a little differently, however. From giant goats to evil Santa counterparts, witches and KFC, here’s a look at some of the ways other cultures make merry over Christmas. How Christmas is celebrated

How Christmas is celebrated in USA

Many Americans, especially Christians will go to Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Many churches have special Christmas Carol services and events where the story of Christmas is told.

In New England (the American States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine), there are shops called ‘Christmas Shops’ that only sell Christmas decorations and toys all the year round!

Americans also send out Christmas Cards, like Carol singing and there’s the unusual custom of the Christmas Pickle!

People in America like to decorate the outsides of their houses with lights and sometimes even statues of Santa Claus, Snowmen and Reindeer. Some cookies and glass of milk are often left out as a snack for Santa on Christmas Eve

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas celebration in USA

Towns and cities often decorate the streets with lights to celebrate Christmas. Perhaps the most famous Christmas street lights in the USA are at the Rockerfeller Center in New York where there is a huge Christmas Tree with a public ice skating rink in front of it over Christmas and the New Year.

How Christmas is celebrated in India

In India, people will hang Christmas stars in front of the entrance to their homes for prosperity. Churches are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service

As fir trees aren’t common in India, mango or banana trees are decorated instead, and mango leaves are often used as decorations in the home.

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas celebration in India

Deviating from tradition just a little bit, Santa Claus delivers presents to all the well behaved children in the country from a horse and cart instead of a sleigh pulled by reindeer. How Christmas is celebrated

How Christmas is celebrated in Canada

In Newfoundland ‘Mummering’ is a tradition that takes place in small towns and villages. Mummering, also referred to as ‘Jannying’, is an activity where people dress up in costumes to disguise their face, knock on someone’s door and say, while altering their voice: “Are there any Mummers in the night?”

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas celebration in Canada

They then sing, dance, and have a slice of Christmas cake before moving on to the next house. In some villages, if the owner of the house doesn’t guess who the Mummers are, they have to join them as they move onto the next home.

How Christmas celebrated in Serbia

In Serbia, Christmas Eve is referred  to as Badnji dan, and after sunset it becomes Badnje veče. Families use this day to make preparations for the oncoming Christmas celebrations.

Similar to the yule log and other European traditions, they have the ‘badnjak’ in which an oak log or branch is brought into the house and placed around the fire on Christmas Eve. They also have the ‘strong water’ tradition, involving a girl or woman collecting water from a well, spring, or stream on Christmas morning. This water is believed to have special beneficial powers to strengthen health. How Christmas is celebrated

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas Celebration in Serbia

Another tradition, though outdated and not widely followed by the majority of the Serbian population anymore, is ‘Detinjci, Materica, and Oci’, the three Sunday’s before Christmas Day, where gifts are exchanged. Children give gifts on Detinjci, married women on Materice, and married men on Oci. To receive the gift, a game is played where the recipient of the gift is tied up and must hand over gifts to pay their ransom.

How Christmas is celebrated in Italy

Christmas is celebrated in Italy, but the present-giving fun doesn’t really begin until the New Year. In Italian folklore it’s not Santa Claus who delivers gifts to children but Befana, the Christmas Witch.

A kindly old woman, Befana distributes prezzies on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5). She’s often depicted riding a broomstick, carrying a bag or hamper filled with sweets and gifts, and covered in soot as, like Saint Nick, she enters homes through the chimney.

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas celebration in Italy

Legend has it that three kings asked Befana for directions to find baby Jesus and later invited her to join them on their journey. Befana refused but later regretted her decision. People say she is still chasing after the Three Wise Men on their way to find baby Jesus, and leaves gifts for children on her way. How Christmas is celebrated

How Christmas is celebrated in Japan

While Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan, as only one per cent of the population are practicing Christians, it is still celebrated by a large number of people.

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas celebration in Japan

KFC became popular among festive foreigners in Japan who couldn’t find a whole chicken or turkey elsewhere. The fast-food chain seized upon the trend with a highly successful marketing campaign in the 1970s, and now a trip to KFC is considered a Christmas tradition.

The chain even suggests customers in the country place orders in advance to meet demand. How Christmas is celebrated

How Christmas is celebrated in Australia

With Christmas falling at the beginning of Australia’s summer as opposed to winter, their Christmas looks a great deal different to our own.

How Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria
Christmas celebration in Australia

There’s none of the snow or winter chill we’ve come to expect over on this side of the world, and many swap the traditional Christmas turkey meal for a nice BBQ.

How Christmas is celebrated in Sweden

The Gävle Goat has been a Swedish Christmas tradition since 1966 – though it often doesn’t make it to Christmas Day.

Christmas celebration in Sweden

Every year, the 43-foot-tall straw goat is erected on the first day of Advent in the centre of Gävle’s Castle Square. However, it’s not so much the putting up as the tearing down that has become a local tradition. In it’s 50-year history, the goat has been either badly damaged or burned down a total of 37 times. In 1976 it was hit by a car, it was kicked to pieces in 1978, and in 2016 it was destroyed by yet another arsonist on November 27.

How Christmas is celebrated in Iceland

What better way to celebrate Christmas than a tale about a giant and extremely violent cat that devours anyone unlucky enough to have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve?

Christmas celebration in Iceland

The Yule Cat, a sinister monster that lurks around the Icelandic countryside around the Christmas period, was invented by farmers to scare their workers into finishing their jobs before Christmas. The employees who did their work in a timely manner were rewarded with new clothes, and the rest were left to be preyed on by the festive feline fiend.

WAO! what a list, you can let us know the Christmas is celebrating in your country if is not on the list.

Read Also. Mother’s Day 2017: How Mother’s day is celebrated in Nigeria, UK and USA


Omotimehin Nelson is a Nigerian award-winning content writer. He derives passion for creative writing. Join me

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