More Christmas Traditions in Kenya

Christmas is celebrated in so many different ways around the world. Linda, the Communications Coordinator at Open Arms Village in Kenya, explains a few of the Kenyan traditions:

"In Kenya, It is common to see houses decorated with colored paper, balloons, flowers and leaves. For those who are able, a special Cyprus tree can be planted close to 10 or 5 years prior. Each year, that tree is decorated as the Christmas tree. The tree is decorated from where it is to avoid cutting it down.

The sounds of Christmas carols fill the streets. Some stores and churches have nativity scenes where people pay their respects as they pass by.

And Santa may have different transportation, as well. He doesn’t always arrive with his reindeer. Often, he come with donkeys, camels, a motorbike or even by Land Rover!

The biggest and most important Christmas meal is called ‘Nyama Choma’. This is grilled lamb or goat meat which is served with ughali (a very thick polenta), green vegetables and kachumbari, which is a salad made from tomatoes, onions, chillies, coriander leaves, salt and lemon juice. Chapati is a must have as well as pilau (spicy rice), chicken and potatoes. Every region will also have their own specialty dish for Christmas. For instance, at Open Arms Village, chicken is a must have during Christmas.

The children love to help with all of the Christmas preparations. From decorating to cooking, everyone gets involved."

However you celebrate Christmas, I am praying that you experience the love of God and the joy of the birth of Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

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