NCDS Throwback- Christmas in South Africa

For this edition’s throwback, we found an interesting article about Christmas in South Africa! Enjoy!

School is out for the summer and the beaches are flooded with children singing classic Christmas carol favorites like “Wafudi Wari Mu Kufudza.” It is joyous Christmas Day in the country of South Africa. Despite the many differences between New England and South African Christmas celebrations, one mutual element still remains: Christmas is a special time of the year.

In a country in which 79% of the population identifies with some sector of the Christian faith, it is to be expected that the majority of South Africa celebrates Christmas. But Christmas and the day after, Boxing Day, is observed by Christians and non-Christians alike. The non-religious often camp out in backyards or on beaches alongside those for whom the holiday provides more spiritual meaning.
For those who do celebrate Christmas as a religious day, carol singing is a very popular activity. Songs are popular in the Afrikaans language that many speak, such as “Wafudi Wari Mu Kufudza”, or “While Shepherds Watched their Flock at Night”, and Western carols are sung as well. Many people attend “Carols by Candlelight” services after Midnight Mass.

South Africa has many unique traditions. Typically the Christmas meal consists of suckling pig or turkey followed by the traditional South African dessert, Malva pudding. Often these meals are eaten outside while barbecuing, with large gatherings of family present. To many South Africans, Christmas is a relaxed holiday of both giving and receiving. Children hope that Vader Kersfees – or Father Christmas — will give them a toy in their stockings. Overall, the South African Christmas has unique traditions, but ultimatelyhave the same overwhelming spirit of sharing and family seen in the holiday all over the world. Geseënde Kersfees!