Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas in Nigeria

Our Christmas Around the World tour took us to the country of Nigeria last night.  Nigerians have a lot of different foods prepared according to the region in which you live, and they don't generally prepare a lot of sweets, but instead make a TON of different meats at Christmas and make a pilgrimage back to their place of birth to be together with family for Christmastime.  Because of this people stand in long lines to get goats and such to prepare for their Christmas dinner!  (Whereas people in Japan stand in long lines at KFC, in order to eat "American food" on an "American holiday"!)

Instead of decorating evergreen trees, Christians in Nigeria (who make up 50% of the population) decorate palm trees.  They also use palm leaves to decorate the inside and outside of their homes.  Nigerians consider palm branches a sign of peace and a symbol of Christmas.

Nigerian people might also light sparklers and dress in costume at Christmastime.  They walk from house to house acting out the Christmas story for their neighbors!  They often receive money which they donate to the church.

If you want to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Nigeria, you might say, "Eku Odun Ebi Jesu" (pronounced: eh-koo oh-DONE eh-BEE hay-SUE), which means "Happy Celebration on the birth of Jesus Christ."  This greeting is in the tribal language of Yoruba.  The major language in Nigeria is English, but many people use a tribal language too.

Eku Odun Ebi Jesu!

Find out about More Christmas Traditions from Around the World:

Christmas in India
Christmas in Japan
Christmas in Nigeria


  1. Thank you for sharing this one! It was fun to learn about how they celebrate in Nigeria. My in laws served a mission in Nigeria during the early 80's. My father in law had a great deal to do with bringing the gospel to Nigeria in the late 50's.
    Blessings for this one; I loved it!