Gambia: Christmas Fenal Celebrations of Bamboo Decorated Boats


Let me take you on a magical carpet ride to Western Africa.   We are going to touch down in Gambia for a special parade that occurs between Christmas time and the New Year.

The Fanal parade is also known as the Lantern Festival of Senegambia.


Fanals are elaborate boats made of bamboo covered in white paper, lit from inside with candles or electric lights. They are either set on wheels or carried through the streets by dancing people, accompanied by music. These parades are usually held at Christmas time but, also during other significant holidays.

Inside the Boat

White paper is often put over the boat made of bamboo.  The inside is decorated by candles or electric light.

Fanals are 2/10ths elaborate boat constructs made of bamboo with white paper hung over it and decorated with internally with candles or electric lights. It is then either set on wheels or carried by people who parade it in the streets accompanied by music, joyous celebrations and groups of followers behind.

Food is always welcome and here is a dish that looks delicious.

Puppies’ Christmas Poem – The Season of Love and Friendship

 unknown-11Puppies’ Christmas 

It’s the day before Christmas
And all through the house
The puppies are squeaking
An old rubber mouse.

The wreath which had merrily
Hung on the door
Is scattered in pieces
All over the floor.


The stockings that hung
In a neat little row
Now boast a hole in
Each one of the toes.

The tree was subjected
To bright-eyed whims,
And now, although splendid,
It’s missing some limbs.


I catch them and hold them.
“Be good”, I insist.
They lick me, then run off
To see what they’ve missed.

And now as I watch them
The thought comes to me,
That their’s is the spirit
That Christmas should be.


Should children and puppies
Yet show us the way,
And teach us the joy
That should come with this day?

Could they bring the message
That’s written above,
And tell us that, most of all
Christmas is love.