This is one of my favorite season of the year even though my way of celebrating Christmas has gone through an evolution over the time.
Christmas in Kenya
In Kenya, Christmas is a time when families try and be with one another. Many people travel from cities, back to the villages where the main part of their family might live.
This is the time families will see each other, so it is very important.
How Christians Celebrate Christmas
Many Christians, will go to a church service to celebrate Christmas.
The Churches are often decorated with colorful balloons, ribbons, paper decorations, flowers and green leaves as well as Christmas trees.
The service will have Christmas hymns, carols & songs. Children usually recite poems about the birth of Jesus Christ and also perform dances.
After the service, people go home and party really starts. A goat, sheep, chicken or a bull are slaughtered for meat and then barbecued. This is commonly known as ‘nyama choma’. It is eaten with rice and chapati.
The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, is also a public holiday. It’s another day of celebrating, seeing more friends and family.
How Christmas Has Changed Over The Time
Christmas in Kenya also has gone through evolution over the years and it’s quite different from when we were growing up. For example people rarely send Christmas cards through the post office.
Also the special Christmas diets don’t exist anymore because people can afford them on daily basis. Mobile phone money transfer services like M-Pesa come in handy for those wishing to send gifts.
Last but not least, the change that came with technology. For example people don’t need professional photographers because they can take photos using their smartphones etc.
Despite the many changes, one thing remains firm in Kenya: the Christmas cheer continues!
Christmas in Belgium
In Belgium, Christmas season is totally different from back home.
Same as in the Netherlands, children in Belgium believe that ‘Saint Nicholas’ brings them presents on December 6th, St. Nicholas’ Day.
In the weeks before Christmas, people also like to go to Christmas Markets. You might spot Santa Claus at the market! People go to buy Christmas presents, decorations and food. You can also drink gin or hot wine and eat some ‘oliebollen’ (deep fried sweet dumplings).
Going ice skating with friends is also something very common.
Most people will have a Christmas tree decorated with lights, baubles, garlands and a star on the top.
On Christmas Eve, people normally celebrate with their close family and they keep it small and cosy. Small family Christmas presents are also given at Christmas too, where they are put under the tree. They are opened on Christmas Eve.
These are more of my Christmas celebration evolutions and this Christmas I want to incorporate some of my Kenyan roots ideas.
At the end of the day, I think that all over the world, Christmas is a time of fellowship and joy, eating, drinking and celebration. A time to remember the real meaning of the Christmas story and to be with friends and family!
Wishing all my readers A Merry Christmas & Cheers to 2019!
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Thank you for stopping by and stay positive!
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