Christmas in Nigeria

December 05, 2013

No Christmas tree, no bright lights, no decorations, no fudge, no nativity scene, no gifts, no Christmas carols. In rural Nigeria Christmas may bring little or no joy to all to the lives of many families. It will be just like any other day when the family heads off to the farm to hoe. This year with the heavy rains many villages were flooded, huts destroyed, crops ruined so there is little to celebrate, especially for those who are not Christians.   In the city people will have the day off and schools are on holiday.  Some families will return to their village to celebrate with extended family.

The greatest gift for them might be a bag of rice. If they buy a gift in the market on their take home pay of $20, will they be able to send the children to school come January? For them, life is a continuous struggle and leaves no room for a special meal or special attire for a special day like Christmas.

Christmas services are held but the drums replace Christmas music. People will walk, ride their bikes and motorcycles to celebrate Christ’s birth—plain and simple. There will be fires lit outside and dancing throughout the 24 hours of Christmas. This is Christmas in Nigeria so enjoy your Christmas day!   Barka da Krisimeti.

Beverly Nolte
Iowa Nigeria Partnership