Christmas in New Zealand
If you’re a local of the northern hemisphere, you’ll find Christmas to be rather various in New Zealand. Owing to the country’s European heritage and particularly British roots, many of the exact same customs can be observed– in some cases, with a twist. With virtually the opposite environment and different time of the year altogether, the Kiwi Christmas is apparently unique and a lot of fun. New Zealand, just like her next-door neighbor Australia, welcomes the Christmas festivites right in the middle of summertime, in December (tough to get your head around it I know, but such is the southern hemisphere).
Naturally, numerous invest their Christmas camping at the beach or at their Baches– vacation homes.
Numerous towns in the country show a Santa parade which is characterised by embellished floats, bands and marching girls. This is held at any time mid November onwards, usually on a Sunday. Although, genuinely a complete business event, everyone enjoys it thoroughly.The biggest and best-known of these parades is the Auckland Santa Parade. It has actually been rather a feature of Christmas in Auckland since 1934. In addition to attracting countless spectators every year and it is an incredibly enjoyable event for all children.
Owing to the warm climate, Santa can be spotted wearing ‘jandals’– the normal New Zealand shoes and often he even exchanges his red coat for a New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ rugby jersey. While the kids are seen overlooking carrots for Rudolph, Santa is most likely to be left a beer and some pineapple portions! In the bigger, urbane cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton, elaborate Christmas light shows and displays, are the talk of the day. Church is not gone to frequently by majority of the New Zealanders. Nevertheless, the Christmas services – the Midnight Mass held at midnight on Christmas Eve, is expectedly quite popular. Cathedrals and churches are likely to be found filled and overflowing with the crowd. The Nine Lessons and Carols at Anglican cathedrals are a few of the other Christmas services held in the nation. Carol services are carried out throughout the country – even in villages and backwoods.
New Zealand concentrates on some carols of it’s own. These include ‘Te Haranui’, ‘Christmas in New Zealand’ and ‘A Kiwiana Christmas’. These are a need to at the carol services around the nation.
Decorating the Christmas tree is among the most important customs of Christmas worldwide. New Zealand is no exception. Nevertheless, in this country, kiwis too have their own Christmas Tree– the Pōhutukawa. It typically grows to a large height and adorns itself with intense red flowers which not only function as popular designs, however also function on Christmas cards. These flowers have been associated with Christmas considering that the mid 1800s. The Pōhutukawa is also of significant significance in Maori culture.
Lots of New Zealanders choose barbecue lunches on Christmas and this fairly brand-new custom is increasing in popularity. We generally find ham slices, venison or some other kind of exotic meat roasting on the barbeque on this day, and once in a while shrimps and other fish make a look as well. White bait fritters are likewise quite popular. Christmas Crackers on the dinner table is not an unusual sight. Nevertheless, the Christmas meal in itself is fast losing its beauty and ending up being an increasingly casual affair. Nevertheless, the traditional Christmas spread of turkey, ham and roasted potatoes are still equally popular, accompanied by salads and needless to state, paired with a glass of bubbly.
Although even throughout peak summertime some might prefer having a hot fruit pudding with custard and ice cream for dessert, cooler, more refreshing desserts remain unbeaten in popularity throughout the Christmas season. A few of them are – pavlova and whipped cream, meringues, cold fruit salad, jelly and ice cream. The standard Christmas cakes and plum pudding remain a favourite. A range of unique sodas serve the same purpose. Typically on Christmas day, the presents are opened when the entire household is congregated, just before lunch.
New Zealand is an incredibly, culturally diverse country and a lot of the cultures infused in it’s doamin, do not welcome ‘the season to be jolly’ in the same method as the early European settlers and their close descendants did. A contributing factor would be the impact of the Maori natives.
Nevertheless, Christmas, like in all countries around the world, is a special time for all New Zealanders. It’s the time when the entire household comes together and one can enjoy the enjoyable New Zealand summer outdoors. In the Maori language, Merry Christmas is called ‘Meri Kirihimete’.