Christmas preparations under the sun
In one week, it will be already Christmas and I didn’t realise it! Maybe because here, in New Zealand, it is Summer time. This is one of the weirdest thing when you live in this country… appart form earthquakes! It is really curious to see December going on and the year’s end celebrations coming whereas the days are becoming longer and that everybody speaks about summer holidays!
There is nothing to do : even if I try out my german flatmate’s Christmas biscuits and I try to listen some Christmas songs I don’t feel Christmas atmosphere. My body and my mind seems to be lost. How can it be possible this is almost Christmas while I walking in the waterfront with an ice cream in my hand or while I am having a picnic quietly in a park?
Although that can appears contradictory, I miss a good hot chocolate with cinnamon under a cosy blanket and at the same time, I am so happy to be able to enjoy the beautiful days of summer. I appreciate them even more as we left France in June just at the beginning of the summer to meet the Oceania’s winter.
But now it is time for revenge! Gnark Gnark Gnark! Strawberries, apricots, cherries : they all came back in the market. Just in time for us to eat them on the deck! The teenagers have fun jumping from the jumping pit to sea bassin in the waterfront before going to the sauna while Santa Claus is having a peaceful walk dressed with swimming trunks and drinking a cocktail!
The summer is also the Pavlova’s season, this well-known cake, emblematic of New Zealand and Australia. This two countries fight over it, to claim its origin for a long time. Originally this cake was created to pay tribute to the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Like it is suppose to depict her subtle gracefulness, the pavlova is made of a meringue (crunchy outside and soft inside) and covered by whipped cream and sliced fresh fruits.
However, it is not as simple: Christmas at the end of the word is not only about lounging in the sun, playing lawns like in Australia and eating pavlovas. In a very surprising way the Christmas products are the same than in the north hemisphere. Indeed, even if the supermarkets praise the benefits of a Christmas barbecue, I must admit that most of the Santa Claus are dressed with these long red coats and that most of the postal cards display proudly snow-covered landscapes. In this situation making non-sense, it is not very surprising that my mind got lost.
“A Very Welly Christmas” and “The Extravaganza” : a lively December
Also December is a busy month in Wellington. A lot of events are organised like the gypsy festival « The Extravaganza » which took place the first week-end of the month.
“The Extravaganza” is a wandering event so we can visit it in New Zealand’s others cities at different dates. Many stalls are laid out in a park where we can go for free. You can find there a lot of local and traditionally crafted products… or not at all! It’s looks a bit like an European Christmas market except you will not find some hot wine, tartiflette and ginger cakes. Instead you will be able to savour an ice cream, drink a fresh fruits juice or eat a burger.
« The Extravaganza » atmosphere is very friendly, easy-going and a bit alternative too. The are many entertainments. You can listen some gypsy songs, try the hula hoop, be part of a little show, offer to your children a go on the merry-go-round, buy them a balloons’s sculpture or get a tattoo! I really liked to hang out in this world off the wall even if I must admit that this is quite little.
The next week-end we have been to the «Very Welly Christmas» event in the CBD. That’s it! I finally feel a bit the Christmas atmosphere! During two afternoons the main shopping street of Wellington, « Lambton Quay », is closed to the circulation and the habitants of the city walk around thought the acrobatics and dance shows, the Christmas carol and the food stalls.
During all the afternoon we bump into a lot of different characters: Christmas tree, goblins, fairies, reindeer and even Disney’s princesses. A real kids paradise! The magic is operating : the kids are dancing and marvelling. Tonight they will come back home the head full of memories to gently wait for the big red fat guy.
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