Is Santa Claus coming to Children in the Congo?
Most of the people of Congo are Christian, but Santa Claus never makes his way to the jungle. Why? At Christmas there is rainy season in Congo, that's why Santa Claus can barely ride on the muddy roads. Santa Claus would need a boat to get to all corners of Congo.
Christmas Eve in Congo
Congo Christmas is full of gatherings of friends and family. Christmas Eve is very important. Churches host big musical evenings and a nativity play. These plays last a very long time, starting at the beginning of the evening with the creation and the Garden of Eden and ending with the story of King Herod killing the baby boys. Children taking part in the play really like to show off their 'best' acting skills. King Herod and the soldiers are often figures of fun and Mary is often well advanced in labor before she arrives! The birth of Jesus is timed to happen as close to midnight as possible and after that come the shepherds, the wise men and the slaughter of the innocents. This means the play normally finishes about 1am. However, in some places there will be further singing until dawn!
Christmas Dinner and Presents
Christmas in the Congo is more of a religious festival rather than being commercial. Most children won't have any presents. On Christmas day, most families try to have a better meal than usual. If they can afford it, they will have some meat, usually foo-foo, rice, fried plantains, salad, goat or fish. The rest of the day is spent quietly, maybe sleeping after a busy and late night on Christmas Eve. Children go back to school on the 26th.
Did you know? In the Lingala language, which is spoken in the Congo and some other African countries, Merry Christmas is 'Mbotama Malamu'
Visit us on 4th advent and learn more on Christmas in Africa
Yours, Angelika and the africa-junior team!