The month of December is here again. The customary Christmas songs have started rolling in on different TV channels. We get to watch and listen to a whole lot of these songs during this period. The songs are not the only feature of this period but they help ignite the celebratory mood of Christmas.

Christians and non-Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas. As a religious festival, it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Nigerians are not always left out of this celebration. It is always a time for family members to come together and have fun. It is a period of unwinding and preparation for the new year. So if you are a tourist, a visitor, or a traveler and you ever find yourself in Nigeria in the yuletide season of December, here are 15 Fun Facts you need to know about Christmas in Nigeria and the best hang Spots in the country.

Related: The 10 Most Beautiful Places in Nigeria that every Tourist Love

Busy Roads And Traffic:

Busy Roads And Traffic

Let’s begin with this. Traffic congestion is a universal phenomenon. Big cities like New York, Paris, Beijing, London, etc. experience this. But for a visitor who is not conversant with the terrain of Nigerian roads especially in cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt to mention a few, this information is ultimately useful. There is a whole lot of traveling in December. I could remember waiting in traffic in Enugu for more than three hours while travelling from Akwa Ibom to Benue . I must confess that the experience wasn’t funny. And while this may not sound like a fun fact, hanging and waiting out in traffic is a whole lot of fun if you ask me. You need to write this down. Nobody wants to miss celebrating Christmas with his or her loved ones. Above all, avoid traveling between the 23-24th December to avoid sleeping on the road.

Saying Merry Christmas In Nigerian Languages

The Christmas period is a season of happiness. As a way of celebration, people get to share gifts and items as well as verbal wishes. It is a wish that denotes happiness and joy. It is more like a prayer and Nigerians have also imbibed this tradition over the years.

Most people say this verbal wish in English, however, it has its equivalent in some Nigerian languages. We may not be able to give you the translation in all the Nigerian languages owing to the large number of languages in the country. However, the trilingual circle of Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba which are the most popular Nigerian languages have this equivalent.

In the Hausa language spoken mostly in states in Northern Nigeria and some parts of the FCT and North Central, Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘barka dà Kirsìmatì’. IThe Yoruba language spoken in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ekiti, has it as ‘E ku odun, e ku iye’dun’. In Fulani also spoken in the North, it’s ‘Jabbama be salla Kirismati’; in Igbo (Ibo) spoken in Anambra, Abia, Enugu, etc,  it is ‘E keresimesi Oma. And in Ibibio which is the prominent language in the South-South or the Niger Delta, it is ‘Idara ukapade isua’. So if you find yourself in any of these states, you can endear yourself to the indigenes by trying to use any of these.

Christmas Cloth

Talking about fun facts, this is one of the most prominent features of the Christmas season in Nigeria. To a foreigner, this may sound somewhat strange and possibly out of place but to a Nigerian, it is not. This is a tradition that must not be neglected.

We don’t know how it all started but what we know it has become a norm. It is customary for Nigerians to go shopping for new clothes or sew new designs as a way of celebrating Christmas.

This is mostly obtainable among the youths and young ones. Adults may not really be pulled into this tradition but for children and some young adults, it is sacrosanct. Children are adorned in different designs and regalia on Christmas Day. They often look colourful and are often seen parading the streets in their new wear. So don’t be surprised to see people wearing bubas, agbada, Igbo hat and Isiagu, gele among others. You could try wearing one yourself too, you know.

Christmas Rice

Christmas is a Christian festival and that would have made the Bible the best reference material. Is there a chapter in the Bible where rice is listed as the food for Christmas? I don’t think so. No research has revealed any information on the choice of rice as the food for celebrating Christmas.

However,  we have noticed that most Nigerian homes over the years have made the cooking of rice on Christmas Day a tradition. Rice is one of the most popular foods in Nigeria and while it may not be your favourite, you can bet that seven out of every ten Nigerian homes will prefer to cook rice to any other kind of food on Christmas Day. Who ever introduced this must be a lover of rice.

In addition to the rice, a traditional Christmas meal in Nigeria may include beef, goat, sheep, ram or chicken. Other dishes might be pounded yam, jollof rice, fried rice, vegetable salad and some type of stew. Yummy.

Fire Crackers

Fire crackers

Fire crackers also called knock-out in popular Nigerian parlance are a prominent feature of this period. Children love to play with firecrackers. While they may not be originally designed for this purpose, children fancy using them on Christmas Day as a way of showing their happiness.

Most Nigerians are guilty of popping some fireworks all through the 25th of December – Christmas day. It normally begins on Christmas Eve. Interestingly, some families even go all the way to making a ceremony out of it, making videos and posting them online or on their family pages. Smaller children tend to take advantage of the custom to play pranks on passersby, throwing the firecracker around them while they least suspect it. The lights and rush of adrenalin that comes with the knock-outs are what make the tradition so exciting.

Santa Claus or Father Christmas

Popularly called “father Christmas”, Nigerian kids expect Santa Claus to visit them on Christmas day with gifts and goodies bags. The idea of Santa only started creeping into the country in recent times and from American media and citizens who have migrated into the country. Now, offices have ‘Secret Santa’ events where people exchange gifts, write Santa lists and families take their children dressed in new outfits to see Santa Claus. The good thing is that both concepts are the same, except for the mix-up with names. Now that you have been updated about the Christmas culture in Nigeria, it will be important for you to also know the best place to spend your time. So if you ever find yourself in or around any of Abuja or Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Kanu, here are some of the best hang-out spots.


The capital city which is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa has a plethora of places for your Christmas hang out.

  • Millennium Park
Abuja millennium park

The entrance is free. I believe this information is enough motivation. Millennium Park gives you the unique opportunity to relax and unwind. We don’t intend to flatter by saying that the Park is one of the best spots for a picnic and a Christmas hangout in Abuja. As I have said already, the entrance is free.

The park is definitely the best spot for a family picnic or a friend’s hang out. So carry along a food basket, music box, blanket, and a bottle of wine; and have a time of your life at Millennium Park. You could stay till evening as it is especially nice to enjoy the beautiful lights of the park in the evening. Location: The Park’s entrance is off the Three Arms Zone road.

Abuja Zoological Park

This is not free but what it offers is worth every penny. This also has the freedom and freshness of nature with a lush and beautiful view and a few animals to shower love on. To have access, all you have to do is pay a token as an entrance fee.

It has playground facilities for kids and that makes it a perfect spot for a family to hang out. Additionally, after your meal, you could take a walk around the park to enjoy the amazing atmosphere and watch the beauty of nature.

  • Central Park

If you are looking for a perfect spot for solitary relaxation and a time with your family and friends this Christmas, then Central Park is just the right spot for you.

It is a recreational park that offers an array of fun for both children and adults. It has a game arcade to paintballing for fun-seekers at an affordable price.

Location: 70 Kur Mohammed Ave, Garki 1, Abuja.


For travelers and visitors in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos, check these spots out. These are a few out of a plethora of others. Lagos has no shortage of anything.

Lekki Conservation Centre, Lekki

Lekki Conservation

From the thrilling experience of the longest canopy walkway in Africa to sitting before a giant chess board, the Lekki Conservation Centre which is a cool and nature-filled spot is one of the best spots to hang out and have a picnic with friends and family.

As mentioned above, it has the longest canopy walkway in Africa. It also has the famous 95-year-old giant tortoise, a giant chess board, nature-filled scenery with animals and plants, etc.

  • Omu Resort, Ibeju-Lekki

This is another spot located in Lekki. The resort has  a zoo, an amusement park and a water park.

Some of the fun activities that are available are Go-kart (car race), zoo visitation, horse riding. Kayaking, paintball, mini-golf, swimming pool, Quad biking, roller skating, mechanical bull riding, etc. You will definitely have a fun filled experience.

  • Barracuda Beach, Ajah

Talking about private beaches and a place for luxurious leisure, Barracuda Beach is just the place to be. This is one of the most popular private beaches in Lagos. It has facilities like a football pitch, basketball, and volleyball court and it is perfect for guests to enjoy relaxation and recreational time.

  • Tarkwa Bay, Victoria Island

If you are a surfing enthusiast and you are looking for a place for some jet skiing, then Tarkwa Bay is the place. The beach which has an artificial shelter is one of the most popular beaches in Lagos and it is located at Onisiwo Island in the Victoria Island axis of Lagos.

Fun activities include surfing, jet skiing, boat riding, volleyball, beach soccer, etc.

The Port Harcourt Pleasure Park

The Port Harcourt Pleasure Park

Opened in May 2017, the pleasure park owned by the State Government is a

public recreation park located along the

major Aba road in Port Harcourt, Rivers


The Port Harcourt Pleasure Park has facilities for kids and adults and all you need to do to access this place is an entry of N500 naira for adults and N350 naira for


Fun activities include a climbing tower, a mini golf course, a mini soccer field, FIFA PS4 games, a jogging circuit, fitness

equipment, water steps, and 5D and 9D cinemas.


The ancient city of Kano has some of the best places for a Christmas hang out and while you may not be able to visit all, do well to check out Nigeria’s largest mall.

  • Ado Bayern Mall

Alphine Group built this in 2014 as a central venue providing shoppers with a unique blend of shopping and entertainment. It is Nigeria’s largest mall and some fun things you could do there are shopping, watch movies, eat out and take pictures with friends and family.

By now, you’ll agree that there’s no lack of exciting Hangout Spots in Nigeria to check out this Christmas. Whether you are in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, etc., there is certainly somewhere fun and memorable to get the much-needed relaxation you deserve!

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