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How Is Christmas Celebrated In Nigeria?

In the Christian world, the story of Christmas is, indeed, universal. However, different people in different lands celebrate things differently.

How is Christmas celebrated in Nigeria? Traditions? Customs? If you wish to post pictures, please do so.

Thank you--and a very Merry Christmas! (BTW, how does one wish a "Merry Christmas!" in Igbo? Hausa? Yoruba? Other languages of Nigeria?)

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Christmas in my home town of Umuoji-Idenmili is a wonderous experience!!

The 24th night vigil,the knocks and lightnings,the 25th morning tomatoes stew with lots of meat,the slaughtering of cows,the masqurades that comes out on 25th evening which me and my cousins used to participate in; Chrismas in my hometown is an experience to behold!! In the morning of the 26th masqurade with canes(mmuo npia osisi) comes out in droves wipping ppl who doesnt wanna run,taking gifts of money from ppl. Wow, I wanna go home and see my fatherland once more!!

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Yes Tpia you are correct he can ring home but his situation is very complicated.

He does ring home(benin) as often as he can but a phone call is not quite the same as being with one's elderly parents in person at christmas time that is why my man is feeling a little down and homesick.

I am trying to help the best I can but as I said his situation is very complicated he had to leave Benin city in a hurry and seek Aslyum in Europe luckly he has been granted FULL Aslyum and protection in that country but when one is facing the prospect of maybe never seeing his parents again it can be heartbreaking etc.

Unfortanly I can not be with him this Christmas as I have had to come back to Australia to renew Visa's so I can legally re enter Europe again I will be with him again in the New Year. (once my new visa's come through)

Anyway thanks Tpia for replying to my post may god bless you with much christmas Joy and peace this Christmas.

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Nigeria has phones so surely a homesick nigerian can call somebody there if he or she is homesick.

Also, he or she can find his or her country men or women on the web?

Or one of the innumerable nigerian associations overseas.

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@anonymous6:

Thank you for the very helpful links you've provided. I was hoping that I could hear from some individuals as to how they each celebrate. Certainly, everybody has traditions that they have gotten from previous generations and those that they'll pass on, as well.

Anyone?

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CHRISTMAS IN NIGERIA

http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/nigeria.shtml

http://www.mapsofworld.com/nigeria/culture/christmas-in-nigeria.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide#Nigeria

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Since this topic began, I've learned so much! Thank you all for participating in it!

I've brought it back to the top, again, as I'd like to read some more of how Christmas is celebrated in Nigeria. Perhaps, someday I'll get to be in Nigeria for the Christmas holidays!

But, until then, please regale me with your stories of what I might be looking forward to!

Thanks, and I hope you all have the Merriest Christmas possible!!

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An interesting comparison of the Nigerian and American celebrations! Thank you.

Surely, others of you wish to comment?

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well xmas is getting better for me being in the u.s though it's till not the same as xmas in nigeria.

now we spend xmasby buying a tree dressing it up with lights etc wrapping lots of gifts and putting it under the tree. xmas eve is usually spent chilling out drinking wine and not much else xmas morning you get up call the family where ever they may be open gifts play with the new toys and possibly have a turkey dinner.

new years eve is a different case party at a club till morning

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You know, we're very close to that special day, again. I thought I'd reactivate this topic. It got so very interesting last year!

So, tell us about Christmas where you are. How does your family celebrate? Your city or town? Your country?

And, spare no details! Tell us about the foods, the traditions and everything else!!

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@ BlackMamba

are you talking about the nigerian form of thanksgiving or the american?

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Nice! so true! remember dem days. luv aleshinloye market. they got nice stuff up in there.

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So, if I wish to have a Christmas party featuring a Nigerian theme, tell me what kinds of foods I need and what kind of entertainment I might wish to have.

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@Poster

Xmas is celebrated in Naija by closing both ends of the streets so that motorists cannot go through because there is a xmas party by some rich !

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OMO XMAS USED 2 BE FUN,BUT NOWADAYS IT CAN REALLY BE A DRAG 4 LOTTA PEOPLE.in the past we get 2 buy lotta stuffs,food,clothing items,basically new stuffs cos its believed that xmas is the birth of jesus christ and all things must come new, then u had gifts 4 family memebers and all that, theses days,

we all are managers!!!!!

now we know christmas is just another day, y shld we buy new clothes.

GSM is in town, i dont need 2 visit my aged parents in the villa

let me get home videos 2 watch durin the yelutide period, and all that

i dont think its the fault of nobody really but our leaders who make us feel like slaves in our own land

people have just accepted the fact that once u get a chicken and get rice,then xmas is celebrated, my dears! its more than that, its meant 2 be time 4 reflections opn ao well or bad we have faired durin the year and attempts 2 beta it in the comin yr,

al still gonna have fun anyao xmas comes.will be in lagos and be happy that a large chunk of people will have 2 leave lagos 4 their respective ancestral homesteads,

i go stilll chop rice and chicken and then chop sallah meat @ my friends 2.

here\s hopin u all have a wonderful holiday and wishin 4 a better 2008.

adieus!!!!!!

ps

4 those of us goin outta town,pls drive safely! and bring somethin wen comin!!!!

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ibadan oooooo i miss ibadan baaje

BODIJA - for food stuffs n cow!!!!!

Gbagi - 4 traditional attire

Dugbe - 4 western cool clothin

only spent xmas wit ma mum lk 5 time miss dem momma rice wen i ws young bt watin sista dey 4 she go cool em rice yh i lk

Mokola/ Saabo 2 change momma xmas money 2 naira

neva go 2 churh on xmas eve/xmas day poo! jst say @ home n enjoy d festive period

xmas evennin because ( miss em crazy prog on dis station lmao)/exhibition

boxin day-train amusment park prob gna be closed dwn nw

I reli miss xmass in xmas in nigeria n ibadan her self.

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Yea more common among the Yorubas though.

you people, wetin be olugbodi, literally

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@BlackMamba:

Thank you for posting the pictures (and explanation) of the Masquerade! It looks to be a beautiful presentation!

@omoge:

Thank you for your translation!

@cutebabe:

I trust that the kneeling is a display of respect?

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@omoge:

I'm afraid I must ask for a translation of "walahai akwai kasuwa fa"!

true to God, there is business or honestly, there is business/market.

it's just an emphasis the Hausa business people uses that you trade more during Christmas time.

hope that helps drrionelli.

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hey omoge watup chritmas smells every where we all pray 4 gud ppl 2 b arnd us as we celebrate

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MERRY XMAS

BABECUE, TURKEY,FRIED RICE AND CHICKEN,CAKES, CHOCOLATE , RED WINE,WHITE WINE. ETC, ALSO OVERTIME SLEEP.

THE BEST PART: YOU GET TO UNITE WITH YOUR FAMILY LIKE WHEN YOU WERE A KID, SUCH MEMORIES, HMMMMMMMMM

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@dollyP1cute and @ Omoge.

Good old days, i love your posts, u guys are lovely, those days were so good and reading omoge's thread i felt like we were in the same household. You are spot on.

Lil addition,

remenber, you can drink as much coke as u want and because gra ma or pa was there, u can enjoy and anytime mum/dad(mum especially) complains, granma/granpa(granma especially) would say: je ki wan mu, se bi odun la se.

Love u guys, have a blessed xmas

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how sweet the memories of christmas . . .

Long gone are the days of taking Gisoro (the name given to most of our christmas goats) out for long walks, the goal being to fatten him up for the wrong end of the knife.

One word for christmas - - meat . . . lots of it!

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@omoge Thanks. you brought back memories. I grew up at Ibadan somewhere at Old Ife road.

Bodija and sasa market used to be the shopping place to visit during xmas. I think they still maintain their records.

My xmas memories is following my Dad to buy a ram with heavy horns. I delight in seeing the big horns than the meat inside.

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During christmas, the whole atmosphere changes and christmas is written in the Skies. It's so lovely and members of family you've not seen for so long will be around. Uncles and Aunties will share money and you will be Rich for that period of time.

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i sure say na you dey inside that outfit wey the masquerade wear,una how masquerade bizness?

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Masquerade is one of the cultural displays of the Nigerian people. They put on ceremonial attire whenever there is an important ceremony such as a burial or Easter and Christmas festivities. The costumes are made either of pieces of clothing sewn together or of dry material covering the whole body from head to toe, with two small openings over the eyes to allow the masquerader to see. It's a taboo for a woman to put on a masquerade. Women cultural dancing groups are allowed but never in a masquerade.

It may take the form of a carnival with different groups parading along designated locations and performing their acts. People give them donation of cash in appreciation. This is usually the case in some parts of Eastern Nigeria on Boxing day and New Year day. Christmas day is always reserved for eating and drinking with family and friends.

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That's an obvious false characterization of Christmas in Naija. A minority of Naija Christians may actually adhere to your religious aspect of the celebration. But, of the majority Nigerians that observe Christmas, most Christians probably attend one church service, like most people that I know. And the rest do not even go to church but just enjoy the festivities.

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Eku odun Keresi ( you can add the "mesi" to it), is the way to say it in Yoruba. Christmas is also synonymous with lot to eat and drink, that is, if you have people to give you that.

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for me we go out to the beach early in the morning before most people arrive enjoy the fresh breeze then leave towards evening before most people leave on getting home prepare delicious mea l and eat under a heavy sound musical system while jistting with friends and families, therefater in the mid night go out to streeet jamzs have have nore fun

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Since Nigeria is probably the most religious nation in the world, we focus more on the religious aspect of christmas rather than the extremely materialistic (buying of gifts) in the US. We go to church on christmas eve and participate in Marathon prayers and on the morning of dec. 25th we go back to church. On boxing day, some people go picnicking (i have before) on new years eve, we spend a long time praying till the countdown in church and thaking God for what he did for us in the past year and thank him for what he is about to do in the next year. On new years day we come back to church and pray more and thank God for his goodness and mercies. Then in some churches people fast the first week of the year or even the first month of the year.

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Booze,booze,booze till day light

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Omoge your post brought tears to my eyes because no matter where else you go or live in this world there is no christmas like the one i used to celebrate when i was a child in Nigeria. Damn being in another man's country is suddenly so hard to take.

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The best and most popular celebration in naija.

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@omoge thanks a lot you are a darling i cant wait to get home this xmas, xmas is definitely merry merry at home unlike here.

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xmas is celeberated by "awon boys" by crashing your crew;s pads one by one, eating and if possible carting away enuf goodies and you end the day at mama chika's place for some cold green bottle, lol

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I don't think Nigerians are that naive. The only person they expect 'blessings' from is God.

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IN HAUSA LANGUAGE, WE USE BARKA DA SALA. THATS ALL.

WHICH MEANS HAPPY CELEBRATION.

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IN HAUSA LANGUAGE, WE USE BARKA DA SALA. THATS ALL.

WHICH MEANS HAPPY CELEBRATION.

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Most People spend it beliving that thing will be a lot better next year, better jobs ,good health care, low crime rate.less corrupt leaders and much more, but ofcourse they still spend the next christmas wishin for the same again,

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to add to that sending of cards. you get so many cards that you can plaster your wall with them . my mum used to tie rope all over the sitting room like washing line and hang all the cards , and other things. we used(thats my dad) will drive off and come back with a big Christmas tree. even or dog used to get a part of the Christmas dish(the bones)

after the church and lunch we will go to the town to see masquerade.the girls with dad and mum in the car. but my brother will go on his own with his friends to get chased by the masquerade.

We never travelled at that time of the year then too many accidents were happening.

The next day it was all about visiting and getting visited.

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Drrionelli, enchante', parley-vous francais?

Je parle et ecris francais bien.

Christmas is real fun in Nigeria but it is enjoyed better as a kid. For adults who are Christains, the season makes more meaning. But it is basically a season for reunion, reconciliation and merry-making.

Are you eyeing a Nigerian?

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All these Christmas stories are makig me homesick.

Christmas like I remember started like around the ending ending of October when all the radio stations would be playing Christmas music,the closer it got to Christmas the more frequently they are played.I grew up in the East so Christmas is always associated in my mind with harmattan season.It would be cold,dry and dusty.In the apartment complex where we lived while growing up,almost every family went to their village to celebrate so the 'watchman' used to be compensated well before hand so he'd keep an eye out on our property.People started leaving as soon as school closed for the holidays and the last to go often left around the 23rd or 24th.I remember that at that time our neighbor and my mum would buy a big basket of tomatoes to share.On the way back to our village-which was like an hour away-we saw other cars loaded with belongings and happy children and sometimes an slightly open trunk so the chicken and torotoro could breathe.Lol.

Anyway,by the time we got to the village other cousins would be there or be on the way and it was always a happy reunion for all the cousins and proud grandparents.All the cousins came together and compared clothes,money and stashes of knockout/banger.As soon as we were done greeting everybody, we hit the stream,maybe with little cans to convince the adults we weren't gong to just play.We always swam till we turned blue in the face and red in the eyes.

Christmas eve,the cooking started.Meat was tenderized and cooked in preparation for frying on Christmas morning.On Christmas eve night,we went to church for the service armed with knockouts/bangers.And even while we were in church we could hear others blasting away the knockouts/bangers,we would become restless.As soon as service was over,we went outside blasting our knockouts/bangers away to the chagrin of the adults.When we eventually stopped running wild and were coralled by the adults,we went home and continued with the knockouts/bangers under adult supervision.If we ran out,doting uncles and aunts and grandparents replenished our stash.

On Christams day gon gon,the sweet aroma of stew and meat awakened us.The adults would get the older children to help get the younger ones ready for Christmas day service.Before we left for church,we had something light like bread and tea saving our appetites for the feast to come.We went to church dressed in our brand new Christmas clothes,shoes and freshly braided hair for the girls or smart crew-cut for the guys and no matter how great service was we itched to go home.Whenever service ended,we were made to greet more relatives bfore we went home.As soon as we got home,we dined on rice and stew,jollof rice,fried rice,chicken,beef,salad,chin-chin,and lots of fanta(who ever thought of calories or sugar then?).The food would not even digest before we began running wild again with other kids.Visitors,relatives were entertained.Carollers came,little dancing girls came,little boys in masquerades came;they were all shown appreciation with money.

Chritsmas Naija style is the bomb.If you haven't experienced it,you should because it does good things to the soul.Sweet memories.

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oooo man xmas in nigeria is reli fun, !!!!!!!!!!!! even b4 xmas day fireworks (knockout/banger) go dey fly over ur head ( gd fun) n every1 go don buy their xmas attire (gone r d days) 2 be ready 4 xmas day N on xmas day evey1 go av a gd wash n get into their attires!!!!!!!! xmas day u go chop (jollof rice) yh till ur stomach full. n in da evening we go visit Xtended families, amusement park lota stuffs 2 do after xmas nah d fun jst start!!!!! we go blow knockout till new yr day!!!!!!! n on newy yrs eve ooo dare na wen da show starts n prob finish sometymes ooo gush we go blow knockout lk crazy in bashoru (winners!) dem police 4 winners dey crazy ooooooo n from bashorun we go Gate (Agodi) man lv d knockout fun alot we go go into Methodist Agodi n av a crazy knockout competition with dem garage boiz great fun! after den every farmer returns home from his farm! we jst drive home n play snooker till lk 6am wen everybody is reli tired n on da 1st all da family( even pple u avnt c b4 or uv seen 4 ages) gather @ da family house n party! gone r da days neway. bt here LND its sht on xmas day their roads r dry n it basically poo (its their culture am nt criticizin den oooooo )

Up nigeria!!!!!!!!!!!

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what happened to Banga!

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Just like Thanksgiving in terms of family reunion, but with extra funfare.

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The benin people wilL say E SE LO GBE

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ahhhh, I love Christmas in my village. cheiiiiiii!!!

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