Southern Hemisphere Christmas Variations
“As the resident southern hemispherian, my colleagues had a lot of questions about what Christmas is really like down under. Spoiler: we eat the same things as you,” UK-based digital and lifestyle reporter Laura Hampson writes for London’s Evening Standard.
“Yes. Christmas music infiltrates New Zealand and Australian car radios as much as it does here. You often can’t walk into a shop or supermarket without hearing Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. There’s no escape,” Hampson writes.
“Traditionally, yes [Santa Claus is still wrapped in layers even though it’s hot] but he can also be depicted in red shorts and jandals.
“A typical Kiwi Christmas can involve a nature walk in the morning, or relaxing and preparing lunch. A big Christmas lunch with the family is often the main event and we usually have it outside on tables under trees. We open presents at some point during the day and then after lunch it’s common to go for a swim down the beach or up the river. Some families even spend Christmas day at the beach, swimming and using the barbecues to cook food.
“We also have our own version of the 12 Days of Christmas that includes these lyrics:
“‘On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Twelve piupius swinging
Eleven haka lessons
Ten juicy fish heads
Nine sacks of pipis
Eight plants of puha
Seven eels a swimming
Six pois a twirling
Five – big – fat – pigs!
Four huhu grubs
Three flax kits
And a pukeko in a ponga tree.’
“While the Southern Hemisphere lacks snow and cosy Christmas jumpers, we certainly know how to make Christmas our own.”
Original article by Laura Hampson, Alice Howarth, Evening Standard, December 24, 2017.