Do People Really Celebrate Christmas In July?

Whilst in Britain we associate Christmas with the wintry chill of late December, around the world festive celebrations take place at different times of the year. We take a look at some of them.

A Jolly July Down Under

In the Southern Hemisphere, and particularly in Australia, celebrating Christmas during July has become an established tradition. This is because July is the coldest month of the year, whilst December 25th is the peak of summer and a day usually spent outdoors.

Many Australians do not want to miss out on the roaring log fires, dark snow-filled evenings, and traditional atmosphere enjoyed by those in the North, and so ‘Christmas in July’, also known as Yulefest or Yuletide, is widely celebrated throughout the country.

A thriving industry has developed around the occasion, with many hotels and restaurants in Australia’s cold mountain regions and snowfields offering Christmas-themed events and holidays.

A Northern Noel In Summer

Christmas in July is celebrated not only in the globe’s cool South but also the warmer Northern Hemisphere - and particularly in the US, where July can be a scorching hot month, and some cool off with scoops of festive ice cream at summer Christmas parties.

Due to the fact that there are no holidays between Independence Day on July 4th and Labour Day on September 3rd, Christmas in July is eagerly promoted by companies looking to cash in during a time offering few other commercial opportunities.

US newspaper advertisers began using the theme of a summer Christmas back in the middle of the last century, when a 1950 ad declaring ‘It's Christmas in July at Browning King’ appeared in The New York Times. Many stores now run Christmas in July sales, whilst television networks broadcast repeats of festive shows.

Yule Not Believe This Tall Tale

If you find twice yearly Christmas celebrations excessive, wait until you hear about Andy Park from Melksham in Kent. Mr Park, also known as Mr Christmas, claims to have celebrated Christmas every single day since July 14th 1994.

In a 2008 newspaper interview he said he had eaten a full roast dinner, drank champagne, opened presents, and watched the Queen’s Speech every day for 14 years - as well as sending himself more than 230,000 Christmas cards. In the interview Mr Parks admitted that he had been forced to scale back his daily celebrations due to the recession. “The credit crunch is getting to me big time and I may even have to cut out the champagne and start singing for my Christmas dinner”, he told reporters.

Others have cast doubt on Parks’ story, accusing him of a hoax designed simply to attract media publicity!

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You May Not Know

European Crusaders brought the mince pie back to England in the 12th Century. It was filled with meat, as well as fruits and spices. Although it has kept the same name, there is no longer any meat in a British mince pie. Well not normally.