Christmas is celebrated all through the African continent by large and small Christian communities. There are about 350 million Christians in Africa. On Christmas day carols are sung from the Congo on down to South Africa. On the days of Christmas meats are roasted, gifts are exchanged and people make a family visit.
The origins of Christianity in Africa are rooted in the 1st Century AD. It is found that the Africans are very spiritual people. The other main religions are Islam and indigenous beliefs apart from Christianity. the main focus of Christmas celebrations in Africa is going to church. On the day of Christmas, nativity scenes are played out, carols are sung and in some cases dances are performed.
People used to decorate the shop fronts, mango trees, churches and homes is common throughout African Christian communities. The visitors may see fake snow decorating store fronts in Nairobi, palm trees laden with candles in Ghana or oil palms full with bells in Liberia.
The Christmas celebrations take place by having Christmas dinner with friends and family, which tops the list after attending church. In Cameroon, Christmas is a public holiday and people take the opportunity to visit friends and family. In Cameroon the goats are quickly snapped up at the local markets and are roasted on Christmas day.
The sun is hot and the beaches are full of families enjoying braais that is the barbeques or traditional Christmas dinners with paper hats, mince pies, turkey and plum pudding which is a vestige of the British colonial legacy. The Christmas dinner is not complete without fufu and okra soup and in Cameroon rice, beef and biscuits are the order of the day.