Christmas in Nigeria, especially for the Igbo people has almost become a cultural thing. It is one season that everyone anticipates with lots of preparations to go with it.
The average Igbo person is entrepreneurial and this is in full glorious display during the Christmas season.
The theme for every Christmas is:
- Making and spending money
- Reconnection with loved ones
- Socializing with friends and family.
During the Christmas season, Igbos from all over the world and from cities in Nigeria return to their villages with their families.
The idea is to know your roots and reconnect with your family and friends. This also offers one the opportunity to ease off after a full year’s business cycle.
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While some Western cultures prefer the summer holidays due to their peculiar weather conditions, down here in Nigeria, Christmas is the time you take your mind off business and work and enjoy your life marrying around.
As you might expect, there are lots of activities that people engage in that make the sacrifice of long travels to their bases worth it every year.
Almost every Igbo community has its brand of masquerades. Christmas season is the season to see all kinds of masquerades.
What Santa from the North Pole is to the Western culture, masquerades are, and more. This is usually the height of the celebration for kids and teenagers. It is highly anticipated.
2. Football competition
Most communities have an annual football tournament that usually lasts for a week or more. The aim is to entertain football lovers.
Such tournaments also serve as an opportunity to deepen the football passion for the youths of the community.
Some youths have found a pathway through this to get called up to play for some local football teams in the country.
Due to the fact that most people who have returned home during this period are free from core business tasks, they can easily attend occasions.
Weddings are fixed at the moment mainly because of the huge presence of people that come with them and for the fanfare too.
I should mention here that due to the nature of our communities, our sightseeing is usually to visit nature at its purest, like in rivers and streams, to socialize as already mentioned before, and then visit family and friends.
We aren’t as much drawn to visiting the same places we are already used to in the cities where we live. We just want a different holiday experience altogether.
As for the meal? Meals for Christmas Day are really special. Preparations for such a meal are started weeks in advance and immediate family members take turns to prepare food for the household.
Interestingly, we prepare to eat from a larger pot or bowl just to solidify that bond of being family.
There is no rule as to what to prepare though. Just do what you can within your budget to make it special for your kids and loved ones.
Aside from the family meals, people can also decide to eat at bars and joints (local restaurants), with assorted meats and drinks of choice. Palm wine would deserve a mention here as it is usually the favorite alcohol this season.
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As the saying goes, “The test of the pudding is in the eating”, spending your Christmas in the Eastern part of Nigeria, among the Igbos, would be a worthwhile adventure.
There are lots of other side notes like nightlife, finding spouses, and all that also happen simultaneously.
Would you want to spend your next Christmas with us?
This is a call for you to decide to make it happen. I hope you do.