Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Day is the most celebrated holiday in the world. It is a time when friends and family come together. From country to country festivities and non-religious rituals include everything from holly, mistletoe, eggnog, fairy lights, and a jolly fat, bearded man in a red suit to patting people on the back with decorated sticks, rotting decomposed birds wrapped in seal skin, and roller skating to church. Whatever your favourite Christmas ritual one tradition remains the same around the globe – wishing one another a “Merry Christmas”.

Afrikaans (South Africa)

Geseënde Kersfees

Akan (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin)


Amharic (Ethiopia)

Melikam Gena

Chewa (Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe)

Moni Wa Chikondwelero Cha Kristmasi

Dagbani (Ghana) Ni ti Burunya


Edo (Nigeria)


Fula/Fulani (Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Togo, Guinea, Sierra Leone)

Jabbama be salla Kirismati

Hausa (Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo)

Barka dà Kirsimati

Ibibio (Nigeria)

Idara ukapade isua

Igbo / Ido (Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea)

E keresimesi Oma

Kinyarwanda (Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Noheli nziza

Lingala (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola)

Mbotama Malamu

Luganda (Uganda)

Seku Kulu

Ndebele (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana)

Izilokotho Ezihle Zamaholdeni

Shona (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana)

Muve neKisimusi

Somali (Somalia, Djibouti)

Kirismas Wacan

Sotho (Lesotho, South Africa)

Le be le keresmese e monate

Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda)

Krismasi Njema / Heri ya Krismasi

Tigrinya (Ethiopia and Eritreia)

Ruhus Beal Lidet

Xhosa / isiXhosa (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho)

Krismesi emnandi

Yoruba (Nigeria, Benin)

E ku odun, e ku iye’dun

Zulu (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland)

Jabulela Ukhisimusi

While English is an official language in certain African countries, more than 2000 languages are spoken throughout the continent. As a first time visitor to an African country learning a local language isn’t critical. However, making an effort to learn a handful of greetings and phrases – including festive wishes - will almost certainly be rewarded with a warm and appreciative smile.



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