Christmas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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In the DRC, Christmas is one of the most important holidays of the year. It is more of a religious holiday here, however, with very little commercialisation.
It is not typical for people to exchange gifts on Christmas in DR Congo, but there are still many traditions and events. On Christmas Eve, there will be a choir event at church and a nativity play.
These productions can sometimes be very long since they begin with the creation of the world to give context to the meaning of Christ’s birth. They are informal events, however, with fun and humour “allowed”. The plays try to have Jesus born around midnight and end at about 1am. Then, Christmas Day services often start at 9am the next morning!
A special family meal with pork or chicken as the main meat dish is served at home on Christmas Day, and everyone then gets a good rest after supper because it’s back to work for some on 26 December.
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