Christmas is widdershins in New Zealand

Widdershins is an old English saying meaning ‘upside down. When the early colonists came to New Zealand in the 1880’s, they found the seasons back-to-front. Christmas was hot and July was cold, whereas they were used to it being the other way around.

“It’s widdershins here in the colonies,” they wrote back Home, “and the Christmas trees grow wild round the coast.”

The huge spreading pohutukawa trees that grace the coast have large florets with crimson stamens tipped with yellow. The leaves of the tree are thick and leathery to minimize moisture loss and protect them from the marine environment. We can lie on the sandy beaches beneath the shade of these trees between swimming and picnics.


Pohutukawa treePohutukawa tree in a coastal garden, showing off its brilliance

Pohutkawa flowers close up

After the present opening, the children put on the Nativity play to entertain us.

The Nativity SceneAnd then we had Christmas dinner – the post-prandial scenePost prandial scene - r

and the next day we go to the beach

Some of my family at the beach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.