Christmas in another hemisphere: how to cope with climate change
Big life changes, such as moving to another country or continent, affect most areas of life, including Christmas traditions. If you find yourself in a different hemisphere where the climate is different from the traditional winter scenario, you will have to adapt to the new conditions and find new ways to create a festive mood. Learn more about how to get used to celebrating Christmas in another hemisphere
With radical changes in climate, food, product availability, and cultural traditions, preparing for Christmas can be a real adventure. And let's not forget about family members who have stayed at home or traveled to different countries... How can expats stay organized in such situations?
Facing new climatic conditions at Christmas
Moving from the Southern Hemisphere to the northern countries or vice versa opens up new horizons and requires adaptation to the difference in climate. Surprises await you, as weather conditions can vary significantly. If you are moving to a country with a similar climate to yours, adaptation may be less important. However, moving from sunny Brazil to northern Finland or from temperate Switzerland to hot central Australia will bring you real contrasts.
Celebrating Christmas can also lead to the unexpected. Will it be a party on the beach or a cozy get-together in a warm blanket? If you're from the Southern Hemisphere, you're familiar with sunny holidays, barbecues, and summer fruits. In this part of the world, Christmas falls during summer, and celebrating under the warm sun is common. However, when you move to the Northern Hemisphere, you may find yourself with limited options for celebrating.
You may be surprised that the weather is actually different than you expected. Instead of warmth and comfort, you may feel cold and humid. Airy coats and sweaters become your best friends, while the local born walk around in light sweaters. Winter has brought cold, and it can be a new challenge for you. Practicality in choosing clothes and psychological preparation play an important role in overcoming discomfort.
It is important to remember that Christmas in the host country will be different from what you have known before. It is important not only to adapt to the climate, but also to learn the unique traditions of celebration in each country. Despite all the difficulties, it is important to keep your family traditions alive by adapting them to the new realities. Think of change as an opportunity for new experiences and unique memories while celebrating Christmas in another hemisphere.
Christmas traditions in different hemispheres
A new Christmas in warm countries can seem like a real challenge for those who are used to cold and snowy holidays. The bright image of Christmas seen in different parts of the world is often associated with snowflakes, frost, fireplace and hot chocolate. However, when you move from a Northern Hemisphere country to a southern country, heading to warm and sunny lands, expecting traditional blankets and cozy evenings by the fireplace, you can have a completely different experience.
Here, in the face of summer temperatures, instead of warm blankets and a cup of hot chocolate, you crave cool and light clothes. The usual winter traditions can be replaced by tropical celebrations, where light colors, light atmosphere and exotic dishes become the main decoration.
Trying to cope with the heat when you are used to the winter idyll can cause unknown discomfort. It's hard to imagine yourself settling in the tropics when you used to celebrate Christmas under a snow cover. This culture and climate shock may encourage expats or even locals to return to their home country to renew traditions and share the holidays with their families.
However, this cultural exchange can lead to interesting experiences and new perspectives. People who dare to do such a Christmas experiment have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and enrich their lives with new experiences. A tropical Christmas can be a unique experience worth trying, even if it seems like you are abandoning the usual winter fairy-tale images.
Adapting to the local style of Christmas celebration
A well-prepared wardrobe is a key element of planning Christmas in another country. As soon as you arrived, you probably adapted your style to the local fashion trends, where your everyday and festive wardrobe reflects the country's characteristics and traditions. However, it is important not only to make sure that your style is in line with local standards, but also to take into account the specific features of the Christmas look.
Learn the styles of Christmas outfits that are popular in your host country. If a cheerful Christmas sweater is allowed at work, feel free to rock it, but make sure you don't break the general norms. Explore colors and accessories that celebrate the Christmas atmosphere. In your look, you can choose elements that combine your personal style with the local celebration tradition.
Keep in mind that differences in religious and cultural practices may affect how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. Christmas celebration traditions vary, and it's important for you to consider these nuances, especially if you're in a Buddhist or Muslim country. In this case, by learning the local rituals, you can find special, unique ways to celebrate the holiday and connect with your new surroundings.
Festive Christmas dinner in different countries
Preparing for the holiday season perfectly includes not only choosing outfits and decorations, but also carefully studying the variety of Christmas dishes in your host country. It is impossible to ignore the flavor traditions that are woven into each region, but the question remains: do you want to stay true to your own roots or discover new culinary horizons?
In Germany, Vollbauchabend, which translates to "New Year's Eve with a full belly," determines not only the content of the dishes but also the atmosphere. Roasted or stuffed goose, vegetables and fruit, Christstollen is just a fraction of the Christmas sophistication. In Bulgaria, however, you will encounter simple and vegetarian cuisine, where the main role is played by the god pita and round focaccia.
Now that the question is in front of you, choosing a menu becomes a challenge. Do you want to follow local traditions or go on an adventure and try dishes from your homeland with local ingredients? The challenge of preserving the Christmas experience in another country is a chance to combine two cultural spheres, to create your own unique holiday amalgam.
One way or another, trying to experience the flavors of your homeland through the gastronomic traditions of your country of temporary residence is a defining moment that allows you to unite two worlds and enrich your Christmas celebrations with unique experiences.
Additional tips for adapting to Christmas in another hemisphere
An important part of preparing for the holiday season for expats is to be mentally prepared for the fact that Christmas in a new country may be different from what you are used to. Some countries may not celebrate the holiday in the way you are used to in your home country, or even approach it with different traditions and atmosphere.
When you encounter a difference in Christmas celebration, it is important not to feel disappointed. It can be a challenge, especially if this is your first Christmas as an expat. Perhaps the local atmosphere or traditions do not meet your expectations. It is important not to judge yourself too harshly, and not to be ashamed to share your feelings with someone you trust. This can be helpful in eliminating negative thoughts and finding support in your new surroundings.
If the holiday season is having a negative impact on you, don't hesitate to seek help. See a doctor in your country of residence or visit a doctor who speaks your language. Online healthcare and consultations across borders have become more accessible, and it is important to clarify insurance issues to get the medical support you need.
Observe the world around you, be curious, explore new things and learn. Moving abroad is a journey into a new environment, and expanding your horizons can be an exciting experience. Connect with the locals, share your traditions, and discover how your host country celebrates the last days of the year. Understanding and accepting differences can help make your first Christmas in another country a memorable and positive experience.
Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World
To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need travel insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Travel guide for 200 countries;
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