Christmas flavors in Nigeria
Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays among Christians in Africa.
In many parts of Africa, it is usually a time for family reunion as people travel back home from all over the world to be with family, relatives and friends for the holiday.
In Nigeria, There are three major ethnic tribes; Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. While English is the official language of communication in Nigeria, there are at least 500 other languages that are spoken.
Many colorful events like carnivals, religious worship and traditional ceremonies mark the celebration of Christmas. In South East Nigeria, predominantly inhabited by the Igbo tribe, Christmas celebration starts on Christmas day with the various traditional foods.
Featured among them are Egusi soup (made from ground melon seed), Ogbono soup (from ground bush mango seed), Oha and Ukazi soups (made with plenty of leafy vegetables).
Other delicacies include pepper-soups, Nkwobi and Isi Ewu (prepared with plenty of goat or cow meats). Various types of meat are eaten including Chicken, Turkey, Snail, Goat and Cow meats.
Continental foods are eaten as well (referring to European and Western foods). In Nigeria, rice is usually the main dish rather than a side dish.
After families have enjoyed various dishes made by loved ones, people then go out to the historic sites to participate or witness the traditional dances and cultural displays from various ethnic communities.
Each ethnic community takes turn to host other communities and strangers from elsewhere are welcome to any home within the hosting community to celebrate and experience a taste of their food and hospitality.
From Christmas day till the day after new year, many events take place including colorful dances, singing and unique culture displays.
Families and friends throw parties, while kids light fireworks. It’s a time when people are likely to meet old friends from villages and cities where they grew up.
Schools are closed for the holiday while businesses are closed on Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Year day.