Christmas in Zimbabwe
For most people in Zimbabwe, Christmas day starts with a Church service. After the Church service, everyone has a party in their homes and people go from house to house, visiting all of their family and friends on the way home! Sometimes, this can take all of the rest of the day! At every house you have something to eat, exchange presents and enjoy the party.
A lot of people get their biggest stereo speakers out and put them out side the front of the house and play their favorite music very loudly! It is not only Christmas music that is played, but also the latest pop tunes and old African favorites.
Everyone wears their best clothes for Christmas, as for some families the only new clothes they get every year are for Christmas. The parties are a good place to show off their new clothes.
Children in Zimbabwe believe that Santa Claus brings them there presents early on Christmas Day, ready to show their friends at Church and at the parties.
Only the main room in the house is often decorated in Zimbabwe. Some Zimbabweans have a traditional 'European' Christmas Tree, but they decorate the room with plants like Ivy. This is draped around the whole of the top of room.
Christmas Carols are sung during the Christmas Day morning service and in services leading up to Christmas. There are also sometimes Carols by Candlelight Services in city parks.
The Christmas Cards that are used in Zimbabwe sometimes have African pictures on them, such as wild animals, but most are imported so they have the traditional 'snow scenes' and pictures of the Christmas story on them.
The special food eaten at Christmas in Zimbabwe is Chicken with rice. Chicken is a very expensive food in Zimbabwe and is a special treat for Christmas. This is often eaten at the Christmas Day parties.
Santa might sometimes arrive at big stores in a Fire Engine. The streets in the big cities also can have colorful Christmas lights.
Over the last decade Zimbabwe has had many changes, please see the Zimbabwe Country profile at BBC News and Zimbabwe Situation for more information. This is a short video about Christmas being better in 2009 in Zimbabwe