How does Christmas look like in Kenya?
HOW DO I SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS?
In the Maasai language [also called Maa or Kimaasai] it's 'nchipai e Kirismas'
In Swahili/Kiswahili [a language spoken in Kenya] Happy/ Merry Christmas is 'Heri ya Krismasi' and the response is 'Wewe pia' [you also]
TIME TO GET BACK TO THE VILLAGE
For most city dwellers in Kenya, Christmas offers a perfect opportunity to visit their families in the countryside.
Kenyans start traveling to the villages at the beginning of December and often spend the entire month there, until after the New Year’s celebrations.
In fact, many people consider it a taboo NOT to visit their rural homes during Christmas.
SPECIAL MEALS – NYAMA CHOMA
Popular Christmas food includes a barbecue which can be of goat, sheep, beef or chicken. This is eaten with rice and chapati flat bread. The big Christmas meal is called 'nyama choma'. People often make their own beer to drink and different tribes also have special dishes they make.
CHRISTMAS PARTY: KESHA
Catholic churches habitually ring bells at midnight to mark the birth of Christ, while worshipers cheer and sing praise songs to mark the start of the much-anticipated day. On the eve of Christmas, most churches in Kenya hold night vigils as worshipers celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Some churches even go to the extent of dramatizing the whole story of the birth of Christ.
The night vigil, locally known as “Kesha,” is eagerly anticipated by the young people.
PAPA XMAS, NOT SANTA CLAUS
In Kenya, Santa doesn't arrive with his Reindeer but might well come by Land-rover, Camel or even a bike! December weather in Kenya ranges from 23ºC to 28ºC and no Father Christmas's sleigh would survive!
KENYAN CHRISTMAS TREE
Instead of the traditional fir or pine tree, Kenyans use beautifully decorated Cypress trees. Cypress trees are a special variety of trees brought by the English that are found in the country of Kenya and people worship at the time of Christmas eve. In the streets, houses and churches they are decorated with colorful balloons, paper decorations, ribbons, and flowers.