The time is upon us once again, Christmas is a mere two days away. As it always does, the year flew by in spectacular fashion and 2017 will be joining the party shortly. But before we jump the gun, let’s get into the festivity of the season.Being a predominantly Christian country, Namibia happily celebrates Christmas. This can be seen in the brightly lit Christmas lights in the streets and the carols echoing in all shopping centres. And as Namibia houses a kaleidoscope of cultures, what better way to embrace the diversity than to look at the various traditions that are implemented around Christmas time.

Christmas tree at Gondwana Collection Namibia

Christmas tree at Gondwana Collection Namibia

First off, we would like to look at one of the most prominent cultures in the country…the Oshiwambo’s. This community believes that Christmas is about sharing – as it is – and therefore families gather from near and far to celebrate together. They thoroughly enjoy the abundance of traditional drinks made with mahangu, called Epwaka, along with the extensive braais.

The locals of the Zambezi region consider this time of year a very important one. Christmas day starts off with a church service, which is followed by a sit-down-dinner with the whole family. The Herero community’s traditional Christmas focuses in the young ones. Children often practice plays and perform for the adults on Christmas Day. Their performance is followed by a hearty meal and songs.

The German/Dutch/English communities celebrate Christmas in similar ways. Most festivities take place on Christmas Eve, followed by Midnight Mass or another church service. Christmas Day is celebrated with a delightful Christmas lunch.

Christmas sugar cookies - Image: Maximized living

Christmas sugar cookies – Image: Maximized living

What gives these cultures their unique flare are the special Christmas treats. Cookies, eggnog, lebkuchen and appelflappen all make this holiday an exceptional treat. You can find recipes for these sweet treats on the other end of the links above.

Lebkuchen - Image: Cook diary

Lebkuchen – Image: Cook diary

Appelflappen - Image: kinfolk recipes

Appelflappen – Image: kinfolk recipes

Regardless of how you plan to spend your Christmas… whether it be singing Christmas carols with your family.

Or building sandmen on the beach – as that is the closest thing to snow Namibia will be getting this season – remember what the season is truly about.

Santa sandman - Image: Paradise tropical restaurant

Santa sandman – Image: Paradise tropical restaurant

Bake cookies with your children and drink eggnog with your friends. Greet strangers with a smile and enjoy every moment of the festivities.

Eggnog - Image: Mental floss

Eggnog – Image: Mental floss

 Another useful tip we can offer is how to say Merry Christmas in other languages:

  • Afrikaans: GeseëndeKersfees
  • Argentine: FelizNavidad
  • Chinese: (Mandarin) Sheng Dan Kuai Le
  • Dutch: VrolijkKerstfeest or ZaligKerstfeast
  • English: Merry Christmas
  • French: Joyeux Noel
  • German: FröhlicheWeihnachten
  • Hawaiian: MeleKalikimaka

From the Gondwana Collection we wish everyone a wonderfully Merry Christmas! Have a safe journey and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas.

If you have any other traditions and treats you would like to share, please do so in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

Jescey Visagie