Christmas in Mali – Simplicity is At Its Best

Mali and It’s Christmas

Mali is a country in Western Africa comprised of several ethnic groups that each have customs and traditions of their own.

Although it is mostly a Muslim country, Christmas is celebrated here and it is nationally known as a public holiday.

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With this being the 12th poorest country in the world (although the eighth largest in Africa), Christmas in Mali tends to be much less lavish than in other places, such as America.

Malians spend most of the Christmas season putting the focus on church and worship.

After all, the true intentions of Christmas are to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the people of Mali prefer to keep that mindset. 

What Christmas in Mali is Like

Beginning with Christmas Eve, the people unite at church, where a series of sermons and religious performances are shared.

Also around this time (often on Boxing Day, which is December 26th), water baptisms take place for those that are officially ready to accept Christianity as their religion. 

Additionally, the women of the church go around to different nearby areas to sing and praise God, while encouraging others to do so.

Christmas Cuties

The church’s choir will also take part in these actions. Throughout this trek, they will receive donated money for the church, and sometimes other small gifts along the way from those that are in a position to contribute. 

In fact, the church and worship are so much in the limelight during this time in Mali that some residents may spend roughly 30 hours, or perhaps more, taking part in their religious rituals.

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With that being said, Christmas gifts do not take the forefront here. They may be exchanged, but only for those who can afford to do so, which is typically not most.

Mali may be considered a poor country, but is rich in culture and continues to be fortunate when it comes to things that money can’t buy – family bonds, community spirit, and respectable values.

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Main Points About Christmas in Mali

  1. For Malians, Christmas celebrations are mostly done in churches. To them, it helps them remember the true essence of the celebration.
  2. The Christmas festivities begin on Christmas eve with an all-night church service that features, performances by groups, carols, worship, and preaching.
  3. On Christmas day, it is not customary to give and receive gifts. Only those who can afford it do.
  4. Many baptismal services are scheduled on Boxing Day. Where Christians openly declare their followership to Jesus.
  5. Malians are not really big on any form of Christmas decorations. Little decorations are done in Churches and some public places.


Even though Mali is mainly a Muslim country, Christmas is a public holiday as well. Most Christmas celebrations are held in churches, starting on Christmas Eve.

Not many people, except for in the rich families give each other presents, but its customary to give a small gift of money to the groups of women and Church choir who go from house to house singing Christmas carol, dancing and greeting people after Christmas.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Mali

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Mali. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

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