Christmas is a tradition celebrated across the world. Not all traditions are the same and not all countries celebrate it on the 25th of December. Some countries don’t even celebrate it at all. In Japan, Akihoto is an emperor who celebrates his birthday on 23 December. His birthday is a National Holiday but not 25 December. In Georgia, Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January, which is 25 December on the Julian Calendar. Everywhere in the world, Christmas means something else to each and everyone. To you it may mean getting together with your family around a big table with laughter and delicious food, but to the man with no shoes, begging on the street corner, it’s just another day with no hope for tomorrow. To a child it’s the excitement of the new toys he can play with, but to a mother who lost her child earlier this year, it’s just a day of pain. I’m not trying to evoke an emotion of pity, this is just reality. It’s the time of year we all get overly emotional. Are you planning to spend Christmas in Namibia and want to know how its done? You are welcome to use some of the tips and ideas for your celebrations.
It’s a time of family right? It’s the time of year where everyone is jolly, and singing Christmas tunes. Although I personally feel someone should ban the national anthem of Christmas: Jingle Bells, it’s still an ebullient time. This is the perfect time to get friends and family involved in all kinds of activities.
It’s a tradition in Namibia to use a thorn branch as a Christmas tree. Please don’t go cutting off trees and branches left and right. The Camelthorn tree in Namibia is a protected species and may not be chopped down, cut or damaged.
There is enough time to prepare for the festivities. Get everyone involved by making your own Christmas tree decorations. A big hit at your Christmas party will be the edible decorations. Bake some cookies or how about popcorn on a string? Chocolates have the nicest wrappers and will give your tree a colorful ambiance. You can use anything lying around in your house as decorations. From paper to egg cartons or empty cans with a paint job. Dried long grass, tied together with bright string and beads are also perfect decorations. Get your DIY inspiration on Pinterest.
German Christmas celebrations are held on the 24th of December. The Christmas meal is one of the most important parts of the celebration. It is prepared with the utmost care and effort. The presentation of the table is an elegant affair and family and friends are invited to join this special meal. A variety of Christmas cookies which are known as Weihnachtsplätzchen are made especially for the day, like : Lebkuchen – traditional German gingerbread, Bethmännchen – traditional marzipan cookie, and Dominosteine – Gingerbread with marzipan & chocolate.
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The Oshiwambo Christmas is also a feast. They believe Christmas is about sharing. You can go from house to house and drink traditionally made drinks. Big celebratory braais (barbeques) are held and everyone is invited. Families drive 100s of kilometers to get together for this very special day.
The Caprivian Christmas has one very important factor. Church. Christmas day is started off with a church service. On this day you wear the most expensive dress or suit that you own and it is usually not your everyday attire. It is a garment that stays in your cupboard for special occasions. Most people in these areas do not earn a lot of money so these outfits they have, are extra special. Months of savings money have been used to afford it. Every family prepares a traditional meal for a sit-down dinner.
The Herero traditional Christmas is focused very much on the young ones. The children have to practice a play before Christmas, and on the day, perform this play for the adults. A feast of delicious cuisine and singing follows.
If you are heading to the south of Namibia for Christmas – visit Canyon Roadhouse / Village or Lodge for a spectacular 3 day stay. Canyon Roadhouse will be dishing up a scrumptious Christmas lunch on 25 December from 12h00 till 14h00 for only N$180-00 for adults and N$90-00 for children.
Most of the towns in Namibia have Christmas lights that are switched on around the 6th of December. It is custom to take the children for a ride around town to view the Christmas lights. To most Namibians, Christmas is about family and friends and the importance of getting together.
Wherever you plan to spend your Christmas, make sure you are surrounded by your loved ones.
Lend a helping hand to those in need this festive season, even if it seems too ordinary and small. Remember to be thankful everyday for who you are and what you have.
Merry Christmas in Other languages :
- Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees
- Argentine: Feliz Navidad
- Chinese: (Mandarin) Sheng Dan Kuai Le
- Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest or Zalig Kerstfeast
- English: Merry Christmas
- French: Joyeux Noel
- German: Fröhliche Weihnachten
- Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
My favorite is in Jibberish : Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
If you haven’t started planning for Christmas – go to our previous blog post – How to plan for Christmas in Namibia.
Written by :
Jessica Schoombee is a local freelance writer. She is an eccentric young lady who has a love affair with writing. Get on board her journey of discovery.