Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 11: Democratic Republic of the Congo

 We're on our second to last stop-the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Here "Merry Christmas" is Mbotama Malamu (this is in Lingala, the language spoken in the DRC and some other African countries).

Christmas is a big religious festival in DRC. On Christmas Eve, churches have large musical events (some with even five or six choirs that sing), and they perform a play ofthe nativity. These plays last a long time-they start at the beginning of the last night of creation and the Garden of Eden, and last all the way until King Herod has sent out the order that all baby boys should be killed. People like acting in this play, and they often try to make it fun and exciting.

Then, around midnight, Jesus is finally born. After that the shepherds visit, the wise men arrive, and Herod's order is sent out. The play usually ends around 1 a.m, but after that they often keep singing until dawn, which makes for a long night. Another service for Christmas Day begins at 9 a.m. with even more singing, but then the rest of the day is spent quietly, and lots of people enjoy a long nap after such a fun and long Christmas Eve night.

The Congo River in DRC
Fun Facts: 
* Since Christmas is a religious festival, most people don't give each other presents. The day is meant to remember the story of Jesus' birth and all that happened before then.

* There aren't any fancy foods eaten on Christmas Day, but people usually try to have a better meal than they usually do if they can afford it. That means they might add some chicken or pork to dinner, which is a special treat.

*All of the above information has been taken from the Wycliffe-created characters, Kate and Mack. To sign up for more children activities or to learn about the book these characters feature in (Around the World with Kate and Mack), click on this link: http://www2.wycliffe.org/a-z

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