Darling Harbor
Sydney

As an inhabitant of the northern hemisphere, I find the Australian Christmas all a bit strange, and it brings home how really distinct Australia is to the rest of the world. During the Christmas season, the days are long, and the weather is hot. Yesterday, the temperature in Sydney was 36° C (96° F).

All this hot weather got me to thinking. I try to imagine how an Australian child reconciles the season’s decorations featuring snow and ice with the actuality of summer heat.

A couple of days ago, I watched an episode of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, a TV series set in Australia during the 1920’s. In this episode, the characters celebrate Christmas in July by traveling to the Australian Alps to have a white Christmas. That seems like a lot of trouble. However, it illustrates how much of a hold the traditional image of Christmas has on Australians.

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