[ Christmas in Kenya ]

Handmade Christmas ornaments & nativities can be purchased at Mercy Unlimited in downtown Wapakoneta.

The United States is not the only place that celebrates Christmas. Many do not know that Christmas actually is the most widely celebrated holiday in the entire world. Kenya is not exception.

Celebration takes place the entire month of December with three main holidays: Jamhuri Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Jamhuri Day is a national holiday that is celebrating Kenya’s independence. It takes place on December 12th and is filled with celebration and cultural festivities.

In Kenya, Christmastime is when family and friends spend time with one another. Many travel upcountry to a home village where they can spend the holidays with their main and extended family. For many who live faraway, this season may be the only time they see family.

Despite being a third world country, one can not mistake that it is Christmas in Kenya. Stores and malls light up with an overage of Christmas lights and trees, homes are decorated with flowers, leaves, and ribbons. You may even see a Santa or two speeding past on piki-piki (motorbike).  Seeing a group of children or adults in a huddle singing a  carol or two, or dancing with joy is quite common.

The day after Christmas, the 26th, is also a public holiday in Kenya. Boxing Day provides a longer celebration of food, friends, and fun!

Most of all, Christmas is a time where it unites Kenya especially during such a time as this. No matter your tribe or color, you say “Merry Christmas!” (Heri ya Krismasi) to everyone you pass by.