Pincourt Originally from Burundi, Africa
In Burundi, more than 70 percent of the population is Roman Catholic and children are baptized on Christmas so this makes it one of the most celebrated holidays. The eve of Christmas, each family cleans the house and property beginning very early in the morning (mothers and daughters usually do this not fathers and sons.) They also prepare new clothes that family members will wear on Christmas. Normally, every family manages to get new clothes for Christmas. Getting new clothes for everybody is one of the father’s responsibilities. Families that are too poor to buy new clothes clean the ones they have so they look neat and do not feel ashamed to join the others.
The family also prepares food on Christmas Eve. As Christmas is a special occasion each family will try very hard to have meat on the Christmas menu since it is not something people eat on a regular basis. Getting meat is also the father’s responsibility.
Wealthy families that own cows, goats or sheep will kill an animal and the father and his sons prepare the meat. But since very few families can afford to kill a cow, many will put money together and share the cost of a cow or other animal. Most will be able to at least get poultry so they have some kind of meat on Christmas and rice since it is considered a special food, as well. On Christmas Day everyone wakes early, puts on their new clothes and goes to church. They sing traditional melodies in the local language (Kirundi.) After people greet friends and relatives outside the church and though they don’t say it, everyone likes to be noticed in their new clothes.
People then go home to gather around a table and the food is served. It is very common that families who live together or not far from each other enjoy the Christmas celebration together.
Families also welcome those who may not have anything for the celebration. People share what they have on Christmas and feel that nobody should be alone, sad or hungry on a day like that.