Because South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas comes in the summer. Christmas in South Africa is a summer holiday. In December, the southern summer brings glorious days of sunshine that carry an irresistible invitation to the beaches, the rivers, and the shaded mountain slopes.
Then the South African holiday season reaches its height. Schools are closed, and camping is the order of the day. In South Africa there is no snow, but it has many flowers, many beautiful varieties of cultivated and wild flowers being in their full pride.
In the cities and towns carolers make their rounds on Christmas Eve. Church services are held on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve celebrations in larger centres include “Carols by Candlelight” and special screen and floor shows.
Homes are decorated with pine branches, and all have the decorated Christmas fir in a corner, with presents for the children around. At bedtime on Christmas Eve, children may also hang up their stockings for presents from Father Christmas.
Many South Africans have a Christmas dinner in the open-air lunch. For many more, it is the traditional dinner of either turkey (or duck), roast beef, mince pies, or suckling pig, yellow rice with raisins, vegetables, and plum pudding a traditional South African desert called Malva Pudding (sometimes also called Lekker Pudding), crackers, paper hats, and all.
The meal is often eaten outside in the summer sun! If it’s really hot they might even have a barbecue or ‘braai’. South Africa also has several other UK Christmas traditions, because of its history with the UK. In the afternoon, families go out into the country and usually there are games or bathing in the warm sunshine, and then home in the cool of the evening. Boxing Day is also a proclaimed public holiday usually spent in the open air.
In Afrikaans (one of the languages spoken in South Africa) Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Geseënde Kersfees’
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from South Africa.