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African Festivals
Christmas


    In African cultures due to the Western world coming and preaching them about Christianity, much of the African culture have adopted the settlers ideas and mixed them with their own culture. They have added their own new music for the occasion and have added rhythm and chants to familiar carols that make them more meaningful the their people.

    Ethiopian Flag

    Ethiopian Christmas begins at four in the morning, when church bells ring for early service. Later in the day, children dressed in their finest clothes walk to the royal palace to receive gifts from the Emperor.

    Egyptian Flag

    The Coptic Church is an Orthodox Church and in the Coptic Church Christmas is celebrated on the 7th December. Advent is observed for forty days and during this period people are expected to fast eating no meat, poultry or dairy products. Some people only do this during the last week of Advent.

    On the Eve of Christmas everyone goes to church wearing a completely new outfit. The Christmas service ends at midnight with the ringing of church bells, then people go home to eat a special Christmas meal known as fata, which consists of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat.

    On Christmas morning people in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East, visit friends and neighbours. They take with them kaik which is a type of shortbread, which they take with them to give to the people they visit and eaten with a drink known as shortbat. Christmas Day is a public holiday for Christians.

    Congoan Flag

    Congoan Christmas is celebrated where it is warm and sunny, many people prepare a special dinner and place it on tables outside their houses. This is where they are to entertain their invited guests to share the joyful celebration.

    In Christian churches it is a custom to present the Child Jesus on His birthday with a gift. There is a "March Around Offering" in which everyone takes part. Each member marches around the altar, lays the gift on a raised platform. Those unable to buy a gift lay fruit or vegetables.

    Ethiopian Flag

    The Ethiopian Christmas known as Ganna is celebrated on January 7th. This celebration takes place in ancient churches carved from solid volcanic rock and also in modern churches that are designed in three concentric circles. Men and boys sit separately from girls and women. Also the choir sings from the outside circle.

    People receive candles as they enter the church. After lighting the candles everyone walks around the church three times, then stands throughout the mass, which may last up to three hours.

    Food served at Christmas usually includes injera, a sourdough pancake like bread. Injera serves as both plate and fork. Doro wat, a spicy chicken stew might be the main meal. A piece of the injera is used to scoop up the wat. Baskets decorated beautifully are used to serve the wat.

    Gift giving is a very small part of Christmas celebration. Children usually receive very simple presents such as clothing.

    South Africa Flag

    South Africa Christmas is a summer holiday. It is a day where inside peoples houses they hang cotton wool and tinsel while outside they are going to the beach, rivers and mountains.

    English speaking children sing carols, put out stockings for Father Christmas.

    Native Africans on Christmas day have a day of eating good and exchange gifts of enjoyment. The festival held is like a carnival with a week of singing, dancing and feasting.

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