Christmas in South Africa
South Africa is located on the southernmost tip of the African continent. Because it lies in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa celebrates a summertime Christmas (for more on the difference between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, see winter solstice). Many people head for the mountains or the beach at this time of year and thus celebrate Christmas with picnics, barbecues, sports, and other outdoor activities.
In spite of the heat Christmas shoppers often find shopping districts decorated with the typical trappings of a northern Christmas, including Christmas trees sprayed with false snow, and various depictions of sleighs, reindeers, and cold, dark, winter evenings. Father Christmas, dressed in red velvet and furs, often makes a sweaty appearance as well. Shoppers may further the illusion of a cozy, northern Christmas by purchasing Christmas cards picturing snowy, winter scenes. Or they may embrace the realities of a South African Christmas by choosing cards that feature the plants, animals, and landscape of a South African summer.