My name is Athman Shee, a student at St. Charles Lwanga children Centre. Allow me to share how Christmas celebrations are conducted in Kenya, and most especially in our school.
Our Christmas celebration is a time when people come together in remembrance of Christ’s birth; a day believed to be holy and full of a joy that lightens the whole world. The day is highly valued here in Kenya as Christians spend their nights in churches and places of worship, waiting for this moment.
People sing Christmas hymns such as “Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ Was Born on Christmas Day,” “Christmas, Christmas Everybody Sing” with a lot of dances and ululations (quickly-repeated loud sounds, often to express joy and happiness or sorrow) especially at midnight welcoming the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is very important day and people put up a lot of decorations mostly in churches, but also in homes, shopping centres, supermarkets and some commodities have labels on them to wish people “Merry Christmas.” About 70 per cent of Kenya’s populations are Christians and this makes the Christians celebration lively and outstanding.
The Santa Claus tradition is not common in Kenya, instead people concentrate on family gatherings and celebrate the birth of Christ. A typical Kenyan family celebrates the Christmas day, by going to mass. Some people will go for the midnight mass especially the young people while others attend the morning mass. People invite friends, especially all their family members, make a Christmas tree in their homes, then a lot of cooking takes place of chapattis and stews, among other meals. During this festive season there are so many people in the villages.
Christmas at St. Charles Lwanga Secondary School and Children’s Centre is celebrated in a very special and touching way. Brother Kennedy organizes a great celebration for the students in which he also invites other children outside the school, who can barely afford their daily bread, to celebrate together. Prior before the day the students organize songs and dances to grace the occasion. During this day, a lot of cooking takes places where a special diet is prepared of chapattis, rice, green peas, roasted potatoes, beef, vegetables, and juices, and people eat to their fullest.
Our most sincere gratitude goes to Brother Kennedy, Inverness County Cares, Chalice and all our benefactors for their generous sacrifice in putting a smile in every child at St. Charles Lwanga.