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A Typical Ugandan Christmas and the History of Xmas Trees

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Christmas is no doubt the highlight of the festive season, people around the globe immerse themselves into an embrace of the sacred birthday of our lord and savior. Inspirational messages and quotes remind us of the holiday’s true essence, encouraging a focus on love, togetherness, and the comfort of home.

Christmas in Uganda is not only about giving and receiving presents, but rather about spending time with family and friends, attending church services, and enjoying traditional meals.

People travel from urban to rural areas to reunite with their relatives and communities. This causes the prices of food and transport to increase significantly.

Many city authorities organize Christmas caroling and light up giant Christmas trees in public places. People greet each other with “Sekukkulu ennugi”, which means “Merry Christmas”.

The festivities begin on the night of December 24th, with a “watch night” service at church, followed by preparations for the feast on the next day. Children help to clean the house and cook the food.

On Christmas day, people dress up in their best or new clothes, especially women who wear traditional dresses and headwear. They go to church, where they sing carols and listen to the message of the birth of Jesus Christ. The churches are decorated with candles and colorful fabrics.

After church, the feast begins. The main dish is chicken, which is smoked, seasoned, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed with matoke, a staple food made from plantains. Other types of meat, rice, and sweet potatoes are also served. The food is cooked using a unique method that gives it a distinctive taste.

After the feast, people play games, tell stories, sing, and dance. The celebrations last until the early hours of the morning, as most businesses are closed on December 26th.


The History of Christmas Tree and Why it is the main Xmas Deco

There are many myths surrounding the first use of evergreen branches or trees to celebrate the winter solstice, the birth of Jesus Christ, or other festive occasions. However, the most widely accepted theory is that the modern Christmas tree tradition originated in Germany during the Middle Ages, influenced by various religious and cultural practices.

One of the earliest sources of Christmas trees is the paradise tree, a fir tree decorated with apples that represented the Garden of Eden in medieval plays about Adam and Eve.

These plays were performed on December 24, the feast day of Adam and Eve, and the tree was sometimes accompanied by a Christmas pyramid, a wooden structure adorned with evergreens, candles, and figurines.

Another possible influence on the Christmas tree tradition is the legend of St. Boniface, an 8th-century missionary who converted many Germans to Christianity. According to some accounts, he cut down an oak tree that was used for pagan worship and found a fir tree growing in its place.

The first documented use of a decorated Christmas tree in a private home date back to 1605 in Strasbourg, Alsace (then part of Germany, now in France).

The custom spread throughout Germany and other parts of Europe and was popularized by the German immigrants who brought it to America in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Christmas tree became a worldwide phenomenon in the 19th century, thanks to the influence of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, who were both of German descent. They had a Christmas tree in their palace every year, and their children also had their own miniature trees in their rooms.

Today, Christmas trees are a universal symbol of the festive season, and are displayed in homes, public places, and religious buildings around the world.

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Simon Peter Nashonji
Simon Peter Nashonji
Nashonji Simon Peter is a dynamic and multi-faceted team leader, renowned for his exceptional interpersonal skills. Having graduated with a Diploma in Journalism, Nashonji is on the cusp of completing his Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Public Relations at Nkumba University. He picked his niche and started writing with Chimp Reports in 2018. Since then, he has authored and published over 500 articles that cover Business trends, Politics, Health, Sports, and Environment. To master his craft, Nashonji offered to volunteer as an Editor of Nkumba University's News Website in 2022, a position he has held to date. On 1st July 2023, He joined the Editorial team of Ubuntu’ Magazine, a Rotary District 9214 (Uganda and Tazania) Monthly News product. Beyond the realm of academia, Nashonji is deeply involved in the governance of Airforce Senior Secondary School his Alma Mata, where he serves as a member on the Board of Directors. He is currently, the President Airforce S.S.S Alumni Society, President Samia Student's Association of Nkumba University and at the same time President of the Media Challenge Fellowship, 2023 cohort. "Opportunities multiply as they are seized and only dwindle when neglected."


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