Published: 17-03-2010, 14:53

Christmas in Madagascar

Christmas in Madagascar: New Year’s celebrations

The people of Madagascar, a large island nation off the coast of southern Africa, enjoy a summertime Christmas (see also winter solstice). Just over forty percent of the Malagasy people are Christians, about seven percent are Muslims, and the rest practice traditional religions.

Christians in Madagascar celebrate Christmas with church services and gift giving. In spite of the summer heat, their Christmas gift bringer wears a red suit edged with white fur, much like Santa Claus. In Malagasy his name is Dadabenoely. In French he is called le Bonhomme Noël, which may be translated as Father Christmas.