Monday, December 15, 2014

CHRISTMAS DOWNUNDER - Susan Horsnell



Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere

While our Northern Hemisphere friends are shivering their way through the festive season with snow, hot food and egg nog, we in the Southern Hemisphere are enjoying hot sunny days, beaches, picnics and seafood smorgasbords. 

Christmas Tree, Adelaide, South Australia
The heat of early summer in Australia has an impact on the way that Australians celebrate Christmas and on which northern hemisphere Christmas traditions are followed.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, houses are decorated, greeting cards sent out; carols sung; Christmas trees installed in homes, schools and public places; and children delight in anticipating a visit from Santa Claus. On Christmas Day family and friends gather to exchange gifts and enjoy special Christmas food.
Many Australians spend Christmas out of doors, going to the beach for the day, or heading to camping grounds for a longer break over the Christmas holiday period. It has become traditional for international visitors who are in Sydney at Christmas time to go to Bondi Beach where up to 40,000 people visit on Christmas Day.
Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW

Carols and music

The tradition of an Australian Christmas Eve carol service lit by candles was started in 1937 by radio announcer Norman Banks. This outdoor service has now been held in Melbourne every year since then.
Carols by Candlelight events today range from huge gatherings, which are televised live throughout the country, to smaller local community and church events. Sydney's Carols in the Domain has become a popular platform for the stars of stage and music.The tradition of an Australian Christmas Eve carol service lit by candles was started in 1937 by radio announcer Norman Banks. This outdoor service has now been held in Melbourne every year since then.
Some uniquely Australian Christmas carols have become popular and are included alongside the more traditional carols sung at carol services and at Christmas church services: John Wheeler's The Three Drovers is perhaps the best known of these.
Many light-hearted Australian Christmas songs have become an essential part of the Australian Christmas experience. These include Colin Buchanan's Aussie Jingle Bells and the Australian Twelve Days of Christmas.

Christmas plants

There are many native Australian plants in flower over the Christmas season. A number of these have become known as 'Christmas plants' in various parts of the country, including Christmas bells, Christmas bush and the Christmas orchid.
Christmas Bells
When Europeans first arrived in Australia they were delighted that they could pick wildflowers resembling bells and bright green foliage covered in red or white flowers to use as Christmas decorations. This was a huge contrast to the bare trees and dormant gardens they had left behind in Europe.There are many native Australian plants in flower over the Christmas season. A number of these have become known as 'Christmas plants' in various parts of the country, including Christmas bells, Christmas bush and the Christmas orchid.
Christmas Orchid

Food

Christmas in Australia comes at the beginning of summer and many people no longer serve a traditional hot roast dinner. Cold turkey and ham, seafood and salads are often served instead. It has even become acceptable to serve the traditional Christmas plum pudding with cold custard, ice cream or cream. 
Pavlova
Pavlova, a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, and various versions of the festive ice-cream pudding have also become popular Christmas desserts.


Wherever you are in the world, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Safe, Prosperous and Happy New Year.

God Bless All,

Sue Horsnell



14 comments:

D'Ann said...

Merry Christmas! Sounds wonderful down there!

Brenda Sinclair said...

Christmas without cold weather sounds wonderful, but I know I'd miss looking out the window and seeing a pristine landscape. That dessert looks delicious though. Have a Merry Christmas, Susan.

Rain Trueax said...

Interesting as I was thinking about how different it would be for Christmas to come in summer instead of winter. I enjoyed learning about the traditions.

Alison E. Bruce said...

Oh bring us a figgy Pavlova
Oh bring us a figgy Pavlova
Oh bring us a figgy Pavlova
And make sure it's chilled

Merry Christmas Sue! Put a shrimp on the barbie for me. ;)

Susan Horsnell said...

Thanks for dropping by D'Ann. You are always welcome downunder. You will always have somewhere to stay and your very own tour guide. Merry Xmas.

Susan Horsnell said...

I guess it is what you are used to, Brenda. We don't have winter up here in sunny Qld. We have a wet season and a dry season. It suits me because I love the sun. Merry Xmas.

Susan Horsnell said...

Thanks for dropping by, Rain. you are always such a loyal supporter and I greatly appreciate it. Merry xmas.

Susan Horsnell said...

Haha, love the song Alison. I will throw shrimps (or as we call them 'prawns') on the barbie for you and I make a mean pavlova. Thank you for dropping by. Merry Xmas.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sue,
Great post. I enjoy a nice hot Aussie Christmas. Still like my hot plum pudding though.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Margaret

Cheri Clifton said...

Always interesting to read your posts about your beautiful country. Hope someday I can visit, maybe even come knocking on your door! LOL We're always in sunny Florida during Christmas, so can relate to how you celebrate the season. Often we're grilling out beside our pool while our northern friends are gathered around their fireplaces.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I enjoyed your description of Christmas in Australia. Best wishes to you and your family for the holiday season!

Susan Horsnell said...

Thank you for dropping by Cheri. You are always welcome here for a visit. Would love to host you and hubby. Merry Xmas.

Susan Horsnell said...

Hi Sandra. Thank you for dropping in. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Merry Xmas.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Susan, love the Christmas bells plant. How nice to know the down under celebration. I had wondered. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and Robert!