As you know, New Zealand is on the other side of the Globe, therefore, everything here is the opposite. The Northern wind is warm, and the one from the South is terribly cold, the sun stays up in the North not South and of course, it is summer here when it is winter in most of the world. So as you probably guessed it, Christmas is in the middle of the summer. They celebrate Christmas only one day 25th of December and then they have Boxing Day on 26th which is also a public Holiday.
We had a day off on 25th, so we decided to make the most of it. We hiked Bannockburn Gold Sluicings Track in the middle of the desert. Which wasn’t the smartest thing to do as it was terribly hot that day (hottest in that summer).
And then we went to the lake Dunstan for a swim with our Chilian friend Nelson and Belen. It felt like a typical summer day, but nothing even close to Christmas. It was odd to hear Christmas corals about the reindeers and snow in the stores.
Everyone prepares food for the Christmas day, like pavlova, lolly cake and a lot of other things.
Kiwis like to go to the beach on Christmas, make open fires, cook barbeque and drink beer with friends. It sounds more like our Midsummer festival (Summer Solstice) Jāņi in my country.
I general it's still all about being together and spending quality time with your loved ones, food and parties. Not that much about gifts and material things.
At least for me, it was like Christmas never came that year. There were songs, and decorations everywhere, but everything else was missing. No snow, cold weather, cozy hats and scarfs, ugly Christmas sweaters, and just the Christmas feeling in general. I know that people who live here are used to this and it is totally normal for them, but for me, it felt so wrong. It felt like Grinch stole Christmas. The feeling wasn't there, but it was still nice to be with our friends that accepted us in their families.
The good thing is its cherry season, so we ate a lot of those.
But as for New Years, it was totally opposite. As it is the shortest night of the year and normally people party all night, then this was just the perfect setting. We spent it with our Latvian friends.
Cool people, warm night, wine and music. What else we could hope for!