In the center of southern Africa lies the country of Zambia. While it is considered to be one of the world’s poorest countries, the people here are rich in enthusiasm, religion, and family bonds.
How History Affects Zambia’s Christmas
Because Zambia was once ruled by the United Kingdom (which ended in 1964), their main religion is Christianity.
This, of course, makes Christmas very important to the people of this country.
There are at least 8 official languages of Zambia! Also due to European influences, their primary language is English.
In fact, over 70 languages and dialects that one might hear being spoken throughout the country.
You may hear classic Christmas carols being sung in any of these languages (which, apart from English, includes Bemba, Kaonde, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, and Tonga), along with cheery greetings of “Merry Christmas!”.
How Zambians Celebrate Christmas
70% of Zambians live in extreme poverty, so gift-giving is not in the forefront here. Most families do not set up a Christmas tree, and Santa Claus is not exactly a figure that they look up to.
Church and worship, however, are always encouraged. If they are able to, donations for the sick or less fortunate may be brought to the church.
Like the people of many countries do, Zambians will often hold a nativity play in the church, complete with biblical figures and a crib for baby Jesus.
What really makes a Zambian Christmas unique is that all of he adults will typically celebrate in one house together, while the children are set in a different house for a Christmas party of their own.
They will usually eat rice with some type of meat while they relax and enjoy the company of their peers.
A Merry Ol’ Time in Zambia
Celebrations come and go throughout the week from Christmas to New Year’s. These parties are focused on bringing the truest gift of all – happiness.
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Main Points About Christmas in Zambia
- Christmas in Zambia is both a religious a commercial celebration. A good part of the festivity is usually spent with family and friends.
- There are a few Christmas decorations here and there. The nativity scenes are the most popular of all.
- One or two days before Christmas, many people could go caroling from neighborhood to neighborhood spreading the Christmas cheers.
- On Christmas eve, some Zambians go to church to watch nativity plays and see other featured performances.
- A lot of food is shared on Christmas day. Children and sometimes adults go from house to house to eat. Parties are also very popular around Christmas time.
In Zambia, most activities at Christmas evolves around the church and coming together, just like in many other African countries.
Zambians often go carol singing together a few days before for charity and children are encouraged to bring a present for less fortunate children to church on Christmas Day.
After church, adults often go to one house, and children to another to party and eat. Nativity plays and cribs are common at church.
Word Cloud for Christmas in Zambia
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Zambia. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.