CHRISTMAS IN JULY AT EDEN FARMS
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
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CHRISTMAS IN JULY AROUND THE WORLD
Christmas in July is a phenomenon that has gradually spread across the globe. It’s hard to pinpoint where, or indeed when, it actually began, but it seems it likely to have been introduced by those used to Christmas in the northern hemisphere who had moved to southern climes.
This post delves into the whys and what fors of Christmas in July and looks at where and how it is celebrated in different parts of the world.
It’ll give you a good idea as to which countries would be best to visit if you wanted to celebrate this interesting concept of mid-year cheer.
THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS IN JULY
The magic of Christmas lives on in many adult’s hearts. As time passes, memories of mystical Santa Claus and those eight tiny reindeer are replaced by mulled wine, cosy log fires and scrumptious turkey dinners with all the trimmings. Cute snowmen and snow-clad scenes adorn Christmas Cards, wishing us all a very Merry Christmas.
However, in the Southern Hemisphere, the joy of Christmas is celebrated on sun-baked beaches with picnics and barbeques, and the children build sandcastles rather than snowmen. And thereby lies the problem. Many say that it hasn’t got the right, “Christmassy feel”. That longing for the magical feeling of Christmas is so strong for some, that has resulted in what we know as, Christmas in July.
WHICH COUNTRIES CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN JULY?
These are the main countries which celebrate Christmas in July – though there differences in how they celebrate and the extent of celebration.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN AUSTRALIA
A week before Christmas. It was hot. Already, that ‘Christmassy’ feeling was missing. Wrapping up in woolly scarves and braving the wintery winds whilst searching for the perfect gift, is as much a part of Christmas as the turkey stuffing and all the trimmings. So I can understand the hankering for the Christmas ‘feels’ experienced in the Northern hemisphere. That said, when I first heard of ‘Christmas in July’, I actually thought it was a joke. But no, in Australia it was a big deal. With so many immigrants from the northern hemisphere, it was a chance to experience a Christmas that closely matched their wintery memories. They wanted to evoke a more realistic ‘Christmassy’ feel. Christmas in Australia is synonymous with barbecued prawns on the beach, playing in the pool and above 30-degree C temperatures. Christmas in July in Australia however, is a whole different story
HOW IS CHRISTMAS IN JULY CELEBRATED IN AUSTRALIA?
Restaurants tout Christmas in July menus, pubs and clubs hold festive parties, Christmas lights are displayed on buildings, ice rinks and fake snow machines appear and all work together to recreate that elusive wintery Christmas experience. Christmas jumpers come out and friends and family gather around open fires, bringing to mind the Christmases of past.
You might hear the words, Yulefest or Yuletide which are synonymous with Christmas in July, though they are also a good excuse to extend the Christmassy feel for the whole of the southern hemisphere winter, June, July and August. These extended winter celebrations happen particularly in the Blue Mountains and the higher altitude points of Australia.
AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS IN JULY HOTSPOTS
Particularly popular spots for Christmas in July are the Snowy Mountains and the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. They offer that picture-perfect Christmas card experience of snow, mulled wine, hot chocolate, cosy open fires and festive fare. However, there is a range of other activities in and around Sydney, including Christmas Markets and even beachside ice skating.
The Rocks, in Sydney, holds a very special Christmas in July, with European wooden chalet Christmas stores, fairy lighting, Xmas pines, Christmas carols, mulled wine and a real festive feel.
The 2020 dates are 9th – 19th July.
Sydney’s Christmas at the Rocks, Australia
There is also an annual Winterland Festival held in Campbell Town, to the south-west of Sydney. In Sovereign Hill, Ballarat in Victoria, Australia you’ll find the annual Winterwonderlights lighting up the town, with European street markets, faux snow and fairylights lighting up the alleyways.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN NEW ZEALAND
Considering New Zealand is so close to Australia, you would think that the incidence for this secondary Christmas would be similar. However, there doesn’t seem to be the same fervour in New Zealand compared to Australia. A few restaurants offer events and Christmas in July menus, but not much more. Many New Zealanders I asked hadn’t even heard of Christmas in July and a few were quite forthright in not wanting it to catch on! What is celebrated mid-year in New Zealand though, is the Matariki Festival. This is the Maori New Year celebration, and this Festival is apparently becoming an increasingly ‘big thing’ in New Zealand
Not everyone celebrates the mid-year celebration of Christmas in July in Australia, but it is relatively popular. There are plenty of events and festive opportunities for those looking for good cheer, merriment and the spirit of Christmas.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa, has quite a few Christmas in July activities and events occuring across the country. The main cities, Johannesburg and Capetown advertise several events and festive celebrations. For a snowy Christmas in July, some South Africans head to the mountains.
The small mountain village of Hogsback holds an annual Christmas in July Winter Festival, which includes Christmas bonfire, lights, carols, Santa’s African Sleigh, a Gala Christmas Dinner, plenty of Gluehwein (mulled wine), hot chocolate and even a Christmas geocache. The festival is apparently very popular, with
accommodation booking out months in advance .
CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN THE UNITED STATES
I can appreciate the reasons that many celebrate Christmas in July – especially if they are originally from the Northern Hemisphere. For them, Christmas is definitely not the same when trying to cook a turkey in 30+ degree C temperatures!
However, I find it a little more difficult to understand that this celebration also happens in the Northern hemisphere countries.
The hype for Christmas in July certainly seems quite widespread across the States. However, I get the impression that it is based predominantly on retail sales and is also a great excuse to party.
Also, for those who love Christmas, they get to have a double helping.
Some suggest that Americans use it as a pick-me-up to help get through the heat of summer. The wistful memories of a cold winter Christmas, helping them look forward to the cooler months coming. Whatever the reasons, the Americans seem to do Christmas in July very enthusiastically.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN CANADA
Christmas in July in Canada seems similar to the US in that there are retail sales and Xmas dinner menus available in restaurants. However, it seems to be celebrated less than in the US. In Quebec though, there is an annual tradition of ‘Noël des campeurs’, the camper’s Christmas held in July. On the weekend closest to July 25th, campers gather with their friends and family and take part in Christmas cheer and festivities. Canadians do get to celebrate in July anyhow, as the 1st is National Canada Day.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
I was really surprised to learn that ‘Christmas in July’ was happening in the UK. It certainly wasn’t when I lived in the south of England over twenty years ago. It seems the retailers are setting the agenda there too. All the events I found were related to sales or company expos rather than any personal celebrations.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY PARTY IDEAS
Whether you are in cold climes celebrating a warm Christmas in July or in a cold clime celebrating a chillier mid-year Christmas, you will want to create a ‘Christmassy feel’.
With Christmassy decor, food and music you will be able to bring some Christmas festivity to your Christmas in July party.
Think traditional Christmas ideas and just adapt them – there are plenty of ‘Christmas’ ideas on the web to give you inspiration
Enjoy the Christmas in July party – it should be relaxed and fun. At Christmas, in December, there always seems to be so much going on – Christmas in July celebrations will likely be more relaxed. Enjoy.
If your guests are dressed in Xmas outfits then the mood will be even more festive. Christmas colours could be the theme or go all out and wear ugly Christmas jumpers or fun Christmas t-shirts.