Christmas is a very popular holiday in South Africa, not only in the Christian calendar. South African Christians commemorate the birth of Christ on Christmas Day. It is believed that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was born between 6 and 4 BC, even though his date of birth is not explicitly referenced in historical records. Christmas is not only an important religious holiday but it has become an incredibly significant commercial and cultural or traditional holiday observed across South Africa, even though not in a religious context.
When is Christmas Celebrated?
Christmas is a public holiday in South Africa and it is celebrated on the 25th of December each year. Although Easter was the main holiday celebrated in the Christian Religion, celebrating the birth of Christ began in the fourth century. Christmas falls in winter in some parts of the world but because South Africa lies in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is a summer holiday.
How is Christmas Celebrated?
South African Christians observe Christmas by going to church on Christmas Day to fellowship and celebrate the birth of Christ. Most South Africans put up Christmas decorations in their homes. Other ways that South Africans celebrate Christmas is by exchanging gifts, enjoying a Christmas lunch feast with oved ones, and participating in other events or gatherings hosted on Christmas Day, such as weddings, parties, anniversaries and graduation ceremonies. South African schools have long end of year holidays from early December until early January (Primary and Secondary schools) or early February (Colleges and Universities). So, the Christmas holiday falls perfectly within the school holidays and most South African families celebrate Christmas by travelling, going camping or going away on vacation.
Which Stores Have Christmas Sales?
Christmas is an extremely popular holiday in the South African retail calendar. Throughout South Africa, retailers and shopping malls begin putting up Christmas decorations as early as October of each year. December is generally the biggest retail sale season in South Africa and almost every retail store offers Christmas specials but the most popular Christmas specials are for groceries, toys and clothes. Consumers can shop massive deals at Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Boxer, Cambridge Food for all their groceries and household needs. A lot of South Africans buy new clothes during the December holiday and it has been a longstanding tradition for children to get and wear new clothes on Christmas morning and receive toys. Shops like Mr Price, Woolworths, Jet, Edgars, Foschini, Truworths, Pep and Ackermans offer great discounts on clothing.