By Bisi Olominu
The official countdown has begun. Christmas is in the air, the stage is set and throughout the whole world, the festival bug has caught up with people. It does not exclude anyone, from presidents, members of the diplomatic corps, ministers, leaders of political parties, captains of industry and the downtrodden, all are preparing to celebrate christmas.
At every street, sound of christmas music filled the air. At every street, youths are organising carnivals, preparing for the greatest of all festivals in the world. Streets are being beautified, youths are going for ‘Aso Ebi’ to celebrate the christmas.
Christmas in Nigeria is celebrated like it is done all over the world. It is obviously the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, and in Nigeria it is exclusively a family affairs. The thought of Xmas in Nigeria brews excitement in the air.
For the young lads, it is time to change clothes and get beautiful, the streets are illuminated by colourful lights, gift exchange hands, loud noise in the streets, dancing and merriment at every corner.
The christmas celebration will not be complete without the beautiful christmas trees that adorning most sitting rooms and houses, major streets in the cities and even government houses. This remind us of the festival and helps us keep abreast of the season.
Down in the village too, you would be greeted by the numerous festivities adding glamour in a special way to Christmas.
Christmas in Nigeria is a time for celebration and reconnection, the experience is always an unforgettable one.
All over the world, from Sydney in Australia, Cape Town in South Africa, Saint Petersburg in Rome, Berlin in Germany, Mumbai in India, Ondo State in Nigeria, Christmas is a period of great merry making and love in which the whole world is joined together.
In Ondo State and mostly in the capital city, Akure, major streets inluding Oba Adesida have been beautified. People are preparing to celebrate this once in a year festival. At every nook and cranny of Akure, the preparation is on as youths await the christmas day and the New Year.
Parents too are not left out as they are shopping for clothes and shoes for their children. At the popular Oja Oba Market in Akure, the whole market is patronised on daily basis by parents who are buying and selling goods for Christmas and the New Year.
Speaking to The Hope, Mr. Godwin Okonkwo maintained that he sells more during the Christmas and New Year than the ordinary day.
According to him” Christmas and New Year always bring this aura of love and joy to the people. Though the country is not yet in good shape, but we thank God that we are witnessing Christmas. Once there is life, there is hope. My customers are coming to buy goods and it means more money in my pocket.
“Children don’t want to know if there’s money in the country or not, but a good parent must cut his coat according to his size.”
Mrs Funmilayo Otokiti is also a clothes seller at the popular Oja Oba market, and she disclosed that her sale has improved with the coming Christmas and New Year.
“My brother we thank God that market has improved with the coming festival. We have clothes ranging from #4,000 to#15,000, depending on the quality that you want. We have shoes in quality too. People are coming to buy from us and we thank God that the sales have improved.
Those selling second hand clothes popularly called ” Bend Down” are also smiling to the banks. Among their customers are students and housewives. These sellers added glamour to their sales as they danced to the admiration of the customers using sonorous songs. In the words of Kenneth Uzoba, the joy of Christmas and new year is already blowing good tidings to my life.
“You can see people buying from us. Not that they can’t afford new clothes, but the quality is not as good as what we are selling here. Our materials are foreign and it will last long. Again, if you can’t buy the new ones, you can easily come here and use the money for new clothes to buy as much as possible your money can afford.
“The most important thing is that students patronised me more. Some of them even booked ahead of time, only come to pick their goods later. Thank God that many of them are already on holiday now, my sales will improve and I will have more money to order for another round of clothes “.
Also speaking, Mr. John Okpere believes that both Christmas and New Year always bring good news and people cannot but celebrate both.
“The festival comes once in a year and it is good to thank God, appreciate him for making us to see a dawn of a new year. To go through 365days unscratched is through the grace of God. If you can kill cow or goat, so far you have the money, it is good you do it. You must know that many you started the year together have gone, but the grace of God is still keeping you. If you can afford good clothes, go for them and continue to appreciate your God. It is indeed a time to celebrate”.