Christmas Traditions in South Africa

Traditionally Zulus, Sothos and other native Africans converge on their family home on Christmas Day and the whole day is spent eating, singing, drinking, and being merry.

The difference in the Christian families being, that they attend the church service and sing Christian songs. One of the senior male members of the family then narrates the nativity. No gifts are presented, only in more westernized families, because the plentiful food, with special emphasis on meat, and the company of family and friends are regarded as precious gifts.

Among those whose forebears immigrated to South Africa from Europe, their celebrations reflect those of the countries from which they came. These celebrations include decorating Christmas trees and going caroling.

One aspect that makes such celebrations unusual is that they take place during the summer months in South Africa. Because of the time of year, many families have outdoor celebrations some of which even take place on the beach!