Petals In A Lawyer Diary: The Tanzanian Christmas Tree


Every time I recall the Christmas holiday season back home in Tanzania, the image of tropical flame trees come vividly alive. We had one in front our house, a landmark that never failed anyone on giving directions to Mama Gonsalves’ house. December is the month that these trees are in full blossom, giving us all a Christmassy feel. The strong red coloured flowers and green leaves give it a perfect combination to be a natural Christmas tree. When the leaves are lost, the tree remains covered with red blossoms only. This also useful shade tree is dubbed “Christmas tree” by Tanzanians.

When young we playfully used to pick the flowers and gift to each other. We believed that the blooms were Santa’s look-alike. The western Santa’s suit is prominently red with white fur. Flame flowers are red, which magically provoked our childhood thoughts to that resemblance.

Far away from home in a land where the magic is in white Christmas, I dream of a red Christmas, where snow is in red blooms.

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