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Is Christmas changing in Africa?

AfricaHYS Team | 12:26 UK time, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

 Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the season is here and most of us are touched by it in some way. How does Christmas affect you? 


Traditionally in Africa many people travel back to the village to spend time celebrating with relatives. But is this still the case? Does it matter where you spent Christmas?

Is the way Christmas is celebrated changing where you are? Are there traditions that seem to be dying out, and if so, are there new ones taking their place? What is expected of you at Christmas and how does it make you feel?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 22 December at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    Almost all christians in Africa don't know the real meaning of Christmas (birth of Christ)because they nolonger follow the foot steps of Jesus, now it's about feasting, drinking and driving madly in the city. No wander they follow their leaders as they say "A bad leader ruins the Society" all they do is to change constitution like in Uganda they were given Ushs 5,000,000 to extend the term limits, in brief they sold their country to the "greedy Hyenas" So Christmas is like any other day in most of African states No Lessons learnt.

  • Comment number 2.

    Christmas is all about giving, sharing and forgiving. The question is, what do I want for xmas.

  • Comment number 3.

    [Personal details removed by Moderator] Celebration is good... but the way it celebrated is something different. Hope to comment more.

  • Comment number 4.

    After the birth of Christ, Jesus and his parents quickly escaped to Egypt in order to avoid killing of male babies by Harod in Judea. Africans had the opportunity of having Christ in their continent. That was a wonderful thing. Even up to this day most Africans embraced Jesus and Christmas too. Nothing has changed and Christmas did not change Africa. In fact, the Christmas holiday is the most celebrated event in African villages.

  • Comment number 5.

    Africa is the best place to celebrate Christmas. Africans are wonderful people during Christmas whether there are Christians or Non-Christians. Christians have the freedom to celebrate and worship their savior. Non-Christians also celebrate this joyful event with parties. Africa is synonymous with Christmas, its people are open minded and non-judgmental regardless of one's religion or race.

  • Comment number 6.

    As a christian, Christmas a.k.a saturnalia is nothing but a pagan tradition which should not be recognized or celebrated in any way. But for those who still choose to celebate this festival of the solstice should do it any where and any how.

  • Comment number 7.

    When I think of Africa and Christmas, it reminds me of my privileged childhood. On Christmas day everyone regardless of financial status had a feast, new clothes, toys yes that was wonderful. On Boxing Day we visited friends and relatives exchanging gifts. Everyone was happy even during the colonial period.
    Africans continue to celebrate Christmas big, considering most of them are poor. There is happiness on this day in every child, mother, father and their friends and relatives. It is understandable from the Christian perspective that people should worship, however it is the universal joy of both Christians and non-Christians to enjoy the joy of giving. Yes the Africans would rather give because they feel it is better to give than to receive, there are kind people indeed. I can’t think of any other place to be during Christmas other than in Africa.

  • Comment number 8.

    When I celebrate Christmas overseas, I feel so empty missing the African way of giving small gifts but it is the thought rather than the size which makes the Africans considerate. Some countries are very poor, but even with a limited budget Africans seem to derive joy from celebrating the day rather than enjoying material goods. Don’t get me wrong I would rather be rich than poor, however what are riches without happiness.
    Come to think of it, if only beautiful people were allowed to have babies the world would be a beautiful place; the rich would pay taxes and the poor baby sitting.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wish to say merry Christmas to our wonderful moderators on this Blog, who do so much of a marvelous job watching and removing in-appropriate postings. I wish they could come to Africa on this day and celebrate with us and we will be hosting. We did a wonderful job hosting the World Cup and I am inclining to think we can even do better for our guests.

  • Comment number 10.

    Almost all christians In Africa don't know the meaning of christmas? I suppose that only In U.S ALL people can define christmas huh? Look, Im one hundred percent african Living proud in the U.S. I can almost guarantee you that if I walk up to any elementary school students and ask them what christmas is all about the only answer i will get is santa, santa and santa; And sadly enough it's not their fault, this is simply the definition of a misleading parenthood. And with that comment you just showed the whole world how superficial and illiterate you are. Stop listening to the media, and try aiming for the truth.

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear Leaders of Ivory Cost,please think widely of human life and how your country will be peaceful for ever and to Africa Continent.

    "please look before you lipe"

    Kuel Madut Duwar in Thuramuon,south Sudan

  • Comment number 12.

    Kuel Madut Duwar in Lietnhom,South Sudan
    Dear AU,
    Iam requesting your diginity to solve the Ivory Coast election which is taking some bad steps out of domacratic policies.
    Moreover let Africans leaders show good example to some world leader.

  • Comment number 13.

    Christmass is a day assign for all christain in the whole world to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ irrespective of no body knows the day He was born, but with faith we believes that Christ was born to save mankind from perpetual distruction to an everlasting salvation. So it is important to celebrate the birthday of our saviour "Christ" with all our subtance and in all, with our life worthy of heaven, not with drunkeness, sharing of blood, stilling or arm-rubbering, fornication, adultry and many more thanks.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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