Ever wondered what it would feel like to spend Christmas on the beach? In many parts of the world, this is quite normal.
Traditions at Christmas are as diverse as religion, culture and heritage, but the traditions of Christmas between north and the south are worlds apart!
Where ever you live in the world, many have grown up with Christmas cards, decorations and ornaments representing the traditions of a cold, white Christmas from the northern hemisphere, together with the origins of Santa Claus from the North Pole. The colder regions bring warm food, snuggly clothes, glühwein, egg nog, light festivals, snowmen,snow fights, ice skating, Christmas markets, nativity plays, Christmas carollers and family get togethers around warm open fires.
There is something magical and dreamy about the idea of a white Christmas in the north, but what happens when it’s boiling hot and the magic of snow is no where to be found? That’s right, you look for the magic of a beach!
South Africans, like many other countries celebrating Christmas down south, embrace the spirit of the season in pretty relaxed ways. The season is also all about family and gift giving, but it’s generally hot… very, very hot and so it’s often equally about a fan, a cold beer and a wonderful sandy beach!
Of course, it depends how your own family tradition all pans out. Some African communities celebrate with dance and special homemade brews, but there’s much cross over around festivities, comprising of meats, cold beer, bare feet, sand angels, bikini’s and watermelon. Above all, once these so-called formalities are out the way, the next best tradition is a backyard pool, a really cool inflatable and more than likely a beach!
Some will pack a picnic lunch and head for the closest beach on Christmas day, but the beach tradition is celebrated mostly on boxing day when swarms of families head for the coast to test out new summer attire and beach gifts. There’s really is something magical about the sizzle of the salt on your skin in the sea at Christmas. With towel in hand, lavishes of sunblock, fashionable hats and umbrellas; the sounds of happy children fill the beaches with a summery sort of seasonal joy. They all seek one thing, relief from the weather! Around Christmas, temperatures can soar into the 30s (degrees celsius) and in some southern countries, up into the 40s. It’s therefore no surprise that everyone heads to the water for a splash down.
Santa hats and funny Christmas traditions fill a beach with a reminder that we are united by the celebration of the season and of course by nature herself; a true blessing in these parts of the world. So, whether it be white snow or white sand, Christmas is still all about the celebration of joy, family and togetherness and we raise a glass to that!
Merry Christmas, where ever you are in the world and whatever you get up to!
Header Photo Credit: No Stop Destination, Platboom Beach, Cape Point
Photo credit: Photographer Denis Dailleux