We just celebrated Christmas but the spirit of Christmas is still in the air! It’s the perfect time to have a look at how different cultures celebrate Christmas in each of the five continents around the world.
Australia has British and European heritage, so there’s a strong attachment to the tradition of celebrating Christmas in cold weather. That’s why there’s ‘Christmas in July’, which is also known as Yulefest or Yuletide in Australia. July is generally the coldest month of winter, so celebrations emulate the atmosphere of the northern hemisphere winter. So that means hearty food like roasts, and warm drinks in front of fireplaces and bonfires. However, Christmas in July does not replace the real Christmas in December. Christmas Day is when families and close friends gather together from all over Australia. The highlight of the day is the holiday midday dinner. Some families head for the backyard barbie to grill their Christmas dinner in the sunshine. Most families go to the beach or to the countryside and enjoy a picnic of prawns, cold turkey or ham and a salad.
The New Zealand Christmas tree is the Pohutukawa, a coastal species that blooms a bright-red color in December, providing shade during the sunny days as they sing carols in both English and Maori. New Zealand has some special carols of its own. These include ‘Te Harinui‘, Christmas in New Zealand and A Kiwiana Christmas! These are sung at most carol services around the country.
Christmas is celebrated in much the same way as in Australia. However, for many villagers in the more remote areas, Christmas passes as just another day. Don’t they say that the best things in life are the simplest thing?
And you? How do you celebrate Christmas in your country?
Did you miss part 4 of the series?