"Naija no dey carry last", especially for celebrations.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus in Christian religion, which falls on December 25. The period around this is celebrated by different people in lots of ways, especially in Nigeria. However, there are some common things done that characterise the festive season for lots of Nigerians. You might not have called them traditions, but you can definitely relate to them.

1) Christmas rice

Rice and chicken [wives connection]
Rice and chicken [wives connection]

Everyone looks forward to that Christmas rice that is cooked on Christmas day. It could be fried rice, jollof or even plain white rice, usually accompanied with a lot of other side dishes and in abundant quantities. It has a special taste, don't you agree?

2) Killing chicken

Live chicken in cage [Care2]
Live chicken in cage [Care2]

Christmas chicken or turkey has to accompany the Christmas rice above. Many families kill the chicken themselves and go through the whole process of chasing the chicken, choosing who will kill it, the actual killing, defeathering and chopping up which creates a special bonding time.

3) Christmas clothes and hair

Newly done braids [Ayurveda Essen]
Newly done braids [Ayurveda Essen]

Children have the most stake in Christmas clothes, hair, shoes, etc. Families have a whole budget for providing the items for their children. Some adults still feel the need to buy new things for themselves too.

4) Carol service

Christmas carol in Nigeria [Merry Christmas]
Christmas carol in Nigeria [Merry Christmas]

Many organisations have carol services for the staff who are interested. It is usually accompanied with singing, dancing and food.

5) Knock-out and fireworks

Fireworks and smaller bangers are frequent from before Christmas till New Year's day. It usually intensifies on Christmas day and just after midnight on New Year's day. They are particularly enjoyed by children and young adults.

6) Christmas decorations

Nigerian family decorating their Christmas tree [face2faceafrica]
Nigerian family decorating their Christmas tree [face2faceafrica]

Decorating the Christmas tree and around the house is a favourite for all ages. It adds to the Christmas spirit and cheer, especially with the Christmas songs that play along.

7) Village masquerades

For those in the village, masquerades are a big part of the Christmas and New Year period. They come out on random days to chase children around and dance to music.

8) Father Christmas and gifts

Nigerian santa claus [Christian media in Nigeria]
Nigerian santa claus [Christian media in Nigeria]
Christian Media In Nigeria

For children, a visit to the Nigerian Santa Claus is in order. For adults, there is usually an exchange of hamper packs upon hamper packs.