by Abel Kayode
Christmas, can be said to be the largest celebration in the whole of Nigeria, as it is not only being celebrated by the Christian community in the country, but rather it is being celebrated by the whole population of the nation.
Christmas celebration in Nigeria starts on the 1st day of December, as that is the day when kids begin to light up fire crackers everywhere. Christmas shopping for clothes usually begins on the 10th day of December, and the shopping gets more intense from the 15th day of December.
Christmas is not just being celebrated on the 25th of December, but rather all through December up to the 10th day of January (even New year is sometimes categorized under Christmas). But the main celebrations are done from the 24th to the 26th or sometimes 27th of December. On 24th at night, there are parties going on at almost every club, people leave the clubs by 10 to 11 at Night to go to their respective churches, while some still remain. People return back to the church by 2a.m on the 25th (Christmas day) where they party until 6a.m.
The traditional Christmas meal in Nigeria is rice. Be it white rice and stew, or Fried rice it does not matter as long as it is rice. This rice is served with chicken and drinks to support it. On this same day, children can be seen dressed in their best clothes moving from one house to another, where they get to eat and receive gifts (mostly money). People move from one house to another to visit their friends and loved ones, and some people give gifts, but in Nigeria the traditional gift on Christmas day is money, and this is being given to kids by those who dropped by to visit. It must not necessarily be an adult who is popping by, it can be even a 16 years old as long as there are little kids in the house he went to visit, he can give the kids gifts if his soul desires (but most of these young stars visit people in order to collect these little cash gifts).
The main parties and gatherings are hosted by families for their friends, and this type of parties never sees little kids except for those under 5 who their parents had to take along because they could not leave them home alone for some reason or another. The main parties which come with the celebration are never held on the day of Christmas, as it is believed that the day of Christmas is a day where people are supposed to stay at home with their families, or they can go out to the park together as a family, etc. In conclusion, I believe Christmas is best celebrated in Nigeria.