Happy Holidays Kenyan Style

We celebrate so many holidays in America: Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, Valentines Day, Memorial Day, and many more. Have you ever wondered what holidays other countries celebrate, and how they celebrate them? Last week I was able to speak to Kheri about the Kenyan holidays and how they differ from the holidays that we celebrate here.

Holidays in Kenya are viewed as a time for families to get together. Some of the holidays that are celebrated in Kenya are the same as they are here: Christmas, Easter, and Valentines Day. For Valentines Day, it is celebrated more in the local towns. People will wear red, hand out flowers, and even send text messages to each other. On Easter, everyone will go to church for a special Easter service. The most popular holiday to celebrate is Christmas. This is the most popular mainly because its in December, a time in Kenya where it’s already a no work, no school month. This allows for families to meet up in the rural towns and have a big feast. People will slaughter the best goat and a big feast of rice, meat, and milk.

In addition to these typical holidays that are also found in America, Kenyans celebrate their own holidays (click on the name of each holiday for more information):

Labour Day-May 1

  • Reminds workers of their rights
  • No work or school;
  • The chairman and his cabinet (those concerned with workers’ rights) have huge crusades (rallies) around the country reminding workers of their rights

Madaraka Day-June 1

  • Celebrating independence from the British in 1963
  • No work or school;
  • President holds a big public meeting to address the country
  • Reminds people of Kenyan history

Mashujaa Day-Oct 20

  • Heroes day
  • No work or school
  • President addresses the public honoring all those who fought for independence
  • Awards are given to those alive and names are read aloud of those who have died but are Kenyan heroes (these heroes include anyone who has made the country proud; athletes, political leaders, intellects, educators, etc.)

Jamhuri Day-Dec 12

  • Independence in 1964
  • No work or school
  • President addresses the public honoring all those who fought for independence
  • Awards are given to those alive and names are read aloud of those who have died but are Kenyan heroes (these heroes include anyone who has made the country proud; athletes, political leaders, intellects, educators, etc.)

-Maggie B

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