Christmas in New Zealand – The Churches are Full During Xmas

In New Zealand, Christmas festivities are celebrated during the summer holidays, just like in neighboring Australia.

During this time, a special majority of people prefer to camp at their holiday homes, popularly known as ‘Baches.’

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The Excitement of Christmas

Many towns and urban settings across New Zealand have well-organized Santa parades that are largely characterized by decorated floats, marching teams, and bands.

These events commence in mid-November, and progress onwards to December.

They are enormously popular, as many people enjoy them. During summer, it is relatively warm, and Santa is oftentimes dressed in New Zealand sandals called ‘Jandals’.

In other instances, Santa substitutes his conventional red top with an ‘All Blacks’ New Zealand rugby jersey.

Santa is usually gifted with certain things such as beers and chunks; while children also commonly spare carrots for Santa’s reindeer.

Christmas in New Zealand

Habitually, big stunning displays and Christmas light shows are set up to grace the special occasion. It happens in big towns such as:

Christmas Cuties
  1.     Hamilton
  2.     Wellington
  3.     Auckland
  4.     Christchurch

Also, carol services are held throughout the country, including rural areas, villages, and small towns.

The Christmas Tree is Special

As is the case in most other places across the globe, many New Zealand residents install beautifully decorated Christmas Trees. It is characteristic of countries such as the USA and UK.

Kiwis have their unique Christmas tree, and it is called the ‘Pohutukawa.’ This tree may grow into a gigantic form.

It has brightly colored flowers that are utterly popular decorations featured even on many Christmas cards.

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Historically, the tree links to Christmas festivities, dating back to the early 19th Century. It is also instrumental with the Maori traditional beliefs and grows particularly on the North Island.

Usually, flowering commences in mid-December to mid-January. When it begins early, the summer will relatively be hotter, and vice versa.

Christmas Lunch Feasts

To mark this special occasion, many New Zealand residents choose to have barbecues for lunch. It is increasingly becoming a widespread phenomenon.

The barbecue is mostly comprised of ham slices, venison and other kinds of exotic meat.

Also, fish such as shrimps and whitebait fritters are often used to make barbecues.

Besides, New Zealanders love desserts. Many residents enjoy hot fruit puddings spiced with ice cream and custard, although cold desserts are also becoming tremendously popular.

The common deserts include:

  1.     Crisp fruit salad
  2.     Whipped cream jelly
  3.     Meringues
  4.     Ice cream

The people drink from a wide range, including alcoholic beverages. It is a synonymous tradition with most countries around the globe.

My caucuses in New Zealand have a penchant for an English-like Christmas meal in mid-Winter (June to July).

The meal will commonly be hot food like roast lamb, chicken, cold harm, and even hot roast vegetables like pumpkins, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Mid-Winter Christmas delicacies are fast becoming popular in entertainment joints such as clubs and hotels, and are an ideal way of spending valuable time together.

Christmas Presents

Similar to other places across the globe, Christmas is marked with various gifts. During this day, people gift their loved ones with beautiful presents.

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They usually open them when the entire family is united together.

They wrap them in decorated festive paper and then place under the Christmas tree. The gift-opening session is customarily held just before the Christmas lunch.

One of the most popular presents on Christmas Day is ‘Jandals.’ They are standard flip-flop sandals, and the name is derived from a combination of two terms; ‘Japanese Sandals.’

The above kinds of footwear continue to be popular in New Zealand’s culture. It became popular around the late 1950s and early 1960s.

In the Maori dialect, Merry or Happy Christmas is stated as ‘Meri Kirihimete.’ It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages.

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Main Points About Christmas in New Zealand

  1. Christmas in New Zealand is often warm; it comes in the middle of the summer.
  2. It is very common to have a Christmas tree in New Zealand; almost every family has a Christmas tree. There are elaborate Christmas decorations both on the interior and the exterior parts of buildings.
  3. On Christmas eve, the is a midnight mass is held to usher in Christmas day. Many families attend.
  4. It is very common to find a Christmas barbecue lunch in New Zealand. However, family meals are very unique to each family.
  5. Many Children in New Zealand, leave out carrots for Santa’s Reindeers when he comes visiting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in New Zealand


In New Zealand, just like in Australia, it’s summertime during Christmas, why parades might include floats and Santa might be wearing a sandal.

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The kids leave carrots for the reindeer and if Santa is lucky he could be left a beer or pieces of pineapple.

The country has a few Christmas carols of their own and even their own kind of Christmas tree, ”Pohutukawa”, a large tree with red flowers also featured on Christmas cards.

Word Cloud for Christmas in New Zealand

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in New Zealand. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.