Christmas Celebrations In New Zealand
Our last post covered Celebrating Christmas In Australia so we decided we would cover their neighbours New Zealand.
When: 25th December
Barbecue being the main meal eaten at lunch on Christmas Day is becoming increasingly popular. Ham & Venison are popular meats, whilst shrimp and fish are also barbecued.
Desserts include hot fruit pudding with custard and ice creams, pavlova and whipped cream, meringues, fruit salad, jelly & ice cream, as well as Christmas pudding, Christmas fruit cake and mince pies.
Drinks tend to be both a mixture of soft drinks and alcohol.
However in the middle of June (which is mid winter in New Zealand), many people in New Zealand will have a “mid winter Christmas meal“. This tends to be a more English-style Christmas Dinner with dishes such as roast chicken, cold ham, hot roast vegetables (such as potatoes and pumpkin) and peas.
These “Christmas” meals are especially popular with clubs and businesses.
Since Christmas falls in the middle of the New Zealand summer, many people like to go to the beach or spend time at their holiday homes (Baches).
Many towns have their own Santa Parade – which can take place from Mid November onwards, with decorated floats made by local businesses and churches, marching bands and other people parading through the streets.
Santa is often portrayed wearing “jandals” which are New Zealand sandals, and might even be found wearing a New Zealand “All Blacks” rugby shirt.
On Christmas Eve, children may leave a beer and some pineapple our for Santa, and a carrot for his reindeer.
Carol services are popular throughout the country, and people send each other Christmas cards.
Christmas crackers make an appearance at the Christmas lunch.
People will often open their Christmas presents on Christmas morning or might wait until all the family get together and open them just before Christmas lunch.
On Boxing Day, there are Boxing Day sales so people will either go shopping or just spend some extra time with their family.
Big cities have massive Christmas light displays and light shows.
Many people will have a Christmas tree decorated like an American / English Christmas tree with lights, baubles and other Christmas ornaments.
A different kind of tree called Pohutukawa is also popular at Christmas time and can grow very large, with bright red flowers (which are also popular decorations on their own and are often depicted on Christmas cards)