Christmas in São Tomé and Príncipe 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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Around 80 percent of the population of São Tomé and Príncipe is Christian and 70 percent Roman Catholic. Christmas Day is a public holiday, and most people celebrate it with enthusiasm.
Midnight masses on 24 December are attended in droves in São Tomé and Príncipe. The largest gatherings are on the island of São Tomé since that is where four-fifths of the people live. Most people get the day off work, and even the non-religious find ways to celebrate.
You will see many homes decked out for the holidays in São Tomé and Príncipe, with the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day being a time of general merriment. It is also a deeply religious time of year for many, a time to remember the coming of Christ into the world to save sinners.
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