Ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere?
With temperatures of around 30°C in December, it’s very unlikely South Africa will have the white Christmas that most of us dream of in the UK! As you’ve probably guessed Christmas in South Africa takes place slap bang in the middle of their summer, which means Christmas dinner is normally eaten outside where the flowers are blooming and the sun is beaming – some businesses even shut up shop for the whole of December! We must admit, we’re a little jealous.
As gifts tend to only be exchanged between the wealthier individuals in South Africa, their Christmas is a far less commercial affair. The emphasis is very much on the religious aspects of the day and enjoying time together with family and close friends, complete with lots of joyous singing – in fact it would be impossible to talk about a South African Christmas without mentioning the singing! Carols are extremely popular and locals tend to gather and make their way around their local towns on Christmas Eve, then follow up with a good old sing song at church services on Christmas morning.
Now onto our favourite part of Christmas… the food! Like us in the UK, the traditional meat is turkey, but people also like to eat duck and roast beef. You can forget about using a conventional oven for the meat too, most people prefer their meat grilled on the braai! However, you’d be hard pushed to find roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings at a South African Christmas dinner, as the main side dish is yellow rice and raisins!
With the sun beaming down, it’s no surprise that people choose to head out to some of South Africa’s most amazing conservation areas, such as Kruger National Park and of course Shamwari Game Reserve, over the festive period. What better way to enjoy the holiday season than spotting some of the amazing wildlife and flora this special part of the world has to offer.
So there you have it, a Christmas filled with food, family. songs, sunshine and of course some magnificent wildlife!