There is a little church in Zebala that holds services in Bambara and Minianka. We were privileged to take part in their celebrations for Christmas on Christmas Eve while we were staying there.
The service was very colourful and the music was great. There are various groups in the church and they all took part at different times in the service. The young women did a very moving telling of the Christmas story using one of their own young babies as the baby Jesus. The young people did a great musical item that was very vigorous and fun. The tiny tots came to the front and sang together with their teachers.
After the service, we all had a meal together not far from the church. We sat on benches around bowls and ate with the right hand (the left hand is considered dirty). I guess we were there about five or six hours.
On Christmas day, there were further celebrations, but we were involved in helping to prepare a local celebration where we fed anyone who wanted to come along and eat. Other families in the village were doing the same, and there was a lot of visiting going on. We took small bowls of food to friends in the village and others brought small bowls of food to us. It was an exhausting day, but great fun.