Christmas in Nigeria – A Different Experience

A Nigerian Christmas

Nigerians love making Christmas a huge family event. Some families are separated by a lot of distance, as some live in large cities, while the majority of their families live out in villages.

So the city dwellers often return home for Christmas, to see their grandparents and older relatives for the holiday season.

Santa Claus is also visited by Nigerian children and their families, and this is their opportunity for Nigerians to dress their children in nice new clothing to make their visit that much more special.

Generally, they will decorate their homes, especially with an artificial Christmas tree. The streets are also decorated for the holiday season.


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When all of their family is around, Nigerians love to throw Christmas parties, that start the day before on Christmas eve, and last all night!

In the morning, when their party is over, they then go to church and worship God and give their thanks for the holiday season.

Christmas Day

On Christmas day, children love opening presents and playing with the firecrackers they had been gifted before.

There is also a lot of music–their local village church choir might go around and sing to each house individually.

Christmas cards are also exchanged between friends and family members, just like their Christmas gifts.

Nigerian Christmas Meal

Turkey has caught on as a special meal for Christmas day, but Nigerians also prepare their usual favorites–beef, chicken, ram, sheep, or goat.

These meats will also be accompanied by traditional sides–stew, fried rice, jollof rice, pounded yam, and vegetable salad.

Season’s Greetings From Nigeria

There are several different languages spoken in Nigeria, so Christmas greetings can be said in many different ways.

How to say “Merry Christmas”

  1. In Hausa– “barka da Kirsimati”
  2. In Yoruba– “E ku odun, e ku iye’dun”
  3. In Fulani– “Jabbama be salla Kirisimati”
  4. In Igbo (Ibo)– “E keresimesi Oma”
  5. In Ibibio– “Idara ukapade isua”
  6. In Edo– “Iselogbe”

It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages.

Learn More With the Help of Video

Main Points About Christmas in Nigeria

  1. Christmas is a family affair in Nigeria. A lot of emphasis and attention are placed on children on this day.
  2. Although Nigerians decorate their homes, however, it is not as elaborate.
  3. Firecrackers are a big deal in Nigeria. Within every 3-minute walking distance, a firecracker vendor can be found during the festive season.
  4. Christmas preparation starts as early as the last week of November. Usually, the women of the house go shopping for the entire family and many Children get new sets of clothes for Christmas.
  5. Rice, chicken/turkey, coleslaw, soft drinks, and alcohol are the basic Christmas meal. Christmas parties, carols, and concerts are very popular during the season.


Christmas is a very big deal in Nigeria, and people start preparing already at the beginning of the year. It’s time to meet family, eat traditional food and exchange gifts.

Depending on the economy of the country that year, Christmas might look a little different commercially though.

Many families have a party all night on Christmas Eve and then go to church in the morning on Christmas Day to give thanks to God.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Nigeria

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Nigeria. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Christmas in Nigeria


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