Celebrating Christmas in Nigeria - Keresimesi Odun De, Odun Olowo...

There is a song among the Yoruba people that is often sung around the holiday season that goes: Keresimesi, odun de odun olowo, Keresimesi odun de odun olomo - translated, Christmas is here, the holiday of the rich, Christmas is here, the holiday of those wanting kids. This song is sung in the spirit of capturing the joy, prosperity, and hope that the season brings. As the holiday season approaches, most people head to their ancestral homes to celebrate with their families. Along with this comes festive activities around getting ready for Keresimesi, such as getting new clothing custom made or ready-made, purchasing goats or cows to prepare for the holidays, traveling, exchanging food on Christmas day, visiting friends and family the day of Keresimesi, and partying.

 As a kid growing up in Nigeria, by far Christmas was always a favorite of mine since I got to decorate our house with lots of festive decorations, enlist my siblings in garland making, hang Christmas cards from family, friends, and neighbors and putting up the Christmas tree with new and old ornaments collected over the years. Now that I think about it, my parents really let me take the reins during that time to do whatever with their house, as I was an aspiring interior decorator back then.

Another big reason I love the season is because of the food we get to make during Christmas. What makes it special during the holiday for me was the joy of the occasion in the atmosphere, with its decorations, music and all of us as a family taking part in the cooking and baking, as Christmas music from the Boney M and Jose Felicano track blasted on, which we still do today. On Christmas day, my mum dispatches us to bring food, along with some Chin Chin and soft drinks for our neighbors and friends. And then we get to all have our meals together as a family, reflecting on the year and sharing what we are thankful for as we look forward to the new year. 

This year Christmas is going to look a bit different for all of us, as we will not be able to get together as we usually do with family. We are all finding ways to connect and create the same holiday spirit from afar. For me, in keeping with the tradition and the festive spirit of the season, I’ll still be doing a little decoration of my apartment - get a Christmas tree, with my childhood Christmas music blaring in the background as I cook and have a Zoom dinner with the whole family!    

This Saturday, December 12th at 11 am on our IG LIVE @egunsifoods  I will be making one of the must-have dishes at most Nigerian Christmas tables, can you guess what it is? You will have to join me live to find out and we will have more exciting things to share.  

Looking forward to seeing you all there! 


'Yemisi Awosan 🧡

Egunsifoods CEO & Founder

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