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Christmas in Uganda

Christmas in Uganda
Christmas in central Uganda is called Sekukkulu , and is celebrated on 25 December. Sekukkulu , the birth of Jesus Christ, begins on 24 December with a “watch night” service. Christmas carols and church bells can be heard all across the country. Churches are well lit with Christmas lights and all kinds of decorations. The rural areas where there is no electricity do their best to make the event colourful in their own special way.
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Sekukkulu
Sekukkulu

The real Christmas cooking starts on the night of 24 December after the church service. I remember my mother used to do most of the cooking preparation on Christmas Eve and then wake up at 4am on Christmas morning to start the cooking. When we woke at 6 or 7am, she would mash the matooke 1 and then move on to grilling the chicken or meat for the special feast.

matooke

On the morning of Sekukkulu the church is filled to capacity; even people who never go to church attend on this day. Most people still practise the tradition of buying Christmas clothes, especially women, to show off their new traditional dresses in rich colours with matching turbans. An incredible feast follows the church service. Most Ugandans can’t often afford a feast like this, so it is like no other.

Sekukkulu

After feasting, most people like to crown the day by attending one of the many Christmas events in their neighbourhoods. Among these are activities organised by churches, such as Christmas carols and nativity plays. Some people may attend football matches.

As a Latter-day Saint I have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament every week in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. I don’t only remember Him at Christmastime.

“He was born so I can have an Advocate, a Redeemer and a Saviour to redeem me from my sinful state. I know that my Redeemer lives. He lives to plead for me above.”

“He was born so I can have an Advocate, a Redeemer and a Saviour to redeem me from my sinful state. I know that my Redeemer lives. He lives to plead for me above.”
1 Matooke : This is the staple food of Ugandans living in Central Uganda. Matooke is a special kind of banana. The bananas are harvested green, peeled and boiled or steamed in banana leaves. When they are cooked, they turn yellow. Matooke is best served mashed.
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Matooke
Matooke
Matooke
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