Christmas Traditions No. 6

christmas-in-drcDominican Republic of Congo

‘Mbotama Malamu’ is the Merry Christmas greeting spoken in Lingagla, the language of DRC.  The majority of people in DRS are Christian, celebrating Christmas as more of a religious festival than a commercial opportunity. Most people won’t exchange presents, though if they are afforded, they are at best a new set of clothes for church.

Christmas Eve is very important with churches having big musical evenings and a nativity play lasting for several hours.  An equivalent might be a western European-style mummers play.  However Congelese start at the beginning with the creation story and end with King Herod killing the drc-christmasslaughter of the Innocents.  This means the play normally finishes about 1am. However, in some places there will be further singing until dawn.  Christmas day service then starts at 9am…. with lots more singing.

Food is a share meal of fufu and okra soup on Christmas Eve, and an al-fresco meal of a meaty stew with rice and biscuits on Christmas Day. The rest of the day is spent relatively quietly – sleeping after a busy and late night on Christmas Eve!

The festival is short-lived as people go back to work on the 26th December.


Whilst the green beans from DRC don’t quite make the grade for our gourmet single-origin choices, we keep a constant check on their improving crops season on season, and trust to welcome a speciality limited edition soon.  For our current limited edition visit

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