~Nadia from Teach Me Mommy
Geseende Kersfees (“Merry Christmas” in my home language, Afrikaans) from all of us here in South Africa!
Our nation is called the Rainbow Nation because we have a diversity of races, languages (eleven to be exact) and traditions. To define South African Christmas traditions are hard, because of our diversity as a nation, every race has it’s own ways in which they celebrate Christmas.
We inherited most of our traditions from other countries, including the USA and UK. The big difference is that we are in summer when it is Christmas. The schools are on their summer break, and most companies also close for Christmas and New Year. People go on holiday, to the ocean or camping inland.
From the beginning of December, “Carols by candlelight” nights are held by various institutions and churches. Some gatherings are charity orientated: where you have to bring food or toys as an “entrance fee.”
Most people have a Christmas tree, a green fake one, and decorate it with baubles, tinsel and handmade decorations. Only some houses are made up with lights. We love to drive around on Christmas Eve to look at all the lights.
Some people will leave stockings for Father Christmas (“Kersvader” is what we call Santa). Some will open presents on Christmas Eve at 12 midnight, others will do it first thing Christmas morning.
The shops and malls are decorated festively and carols are played as early as October. You can take a photo with Father Christmas too!
A lot of South Africans are Christian and will go to church on Christmas morning. We are looking forward to celebrate Christmas as it is a significant holiday for us. We have Nativity shows, where the kids participate too!
After church, families and friends will gather for a feast of roast meat, vegetables, rice and roast potatoes. Or they will have a “Bring-and-Braai”, where each family bring their own meat to barbeque (we call it braai) and a salad or side dish as “potluck” to share with the group. A popular dessert, not just at Christmas, is Malva Pudding, which is served with custard or ice cream.
130 ml margarine/butter
500 ml sugar
30 ml apricot jam
500 ml self raising flour
10 ml bicarbonate of soda
500 ml milk
30 ml vinegar
Pinch of salt
Cream the margerine and sugar. Add jam. Whisk eggs, add to mixture. Add dry ingredients,except dissolve the bicarb of soda in the milk first,then add. Add vinegar and mix well.
Bake for 40 minutes, 180’C.
500ml evaporated milk
Heat slightly to dissolve sugar. Pour over pudding after baking. Serve with custard or ice cream.
I hope you enjoy this delicious South African dessert! I asked Nadia from Teach Me Mommy to share Christmas traditions from her native South Africa. She even added a South African dessert recipe for us! Nadia is the mom of 2 adorable young children and is from Alberton, South Africa. You can find out more at Nadia’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. We wish you all a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!