The Australian ‘Christmas in July’ celebration is a somewhat unusual and some suggest even slightly eccentric festival that now attracts international travellers to the land down-under! Christmas in July’ or Yulefest as it is also known is believed to have been born by accident one snowy wintery night in July of 1980 at an award-winning boutique hotel ‘Mountain Heritage’ in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. A group of Irish guests noticed the irony of winter weather in July and wanting to recreate the feelings associated with winter back home, asked the hotel proprietor if he could organise a few Christmas-style food and festivities for them that night. Thus was born Christmas in July sporting Christmas decorations, snowmen, mulled wine, carols, roast dinners, mince pies, plum pudding, egg nog, bonbons, Christmas crackers, log fires and the occasional snow fall amongst a magical winter Yuletide wonderland of festivities.
The idea spread fast and now in July, the peak season for the Australian snow fields, Christmas decorations and special events are meticulously planned to attract visitors for snow themed Yulefest celebrations. Many families now enjoy winter holidays at the snow fields where they build snowmen as they watch Santa Claus in the distance zip zagging through the snow slops HoHOho-ing!
Interestingly, the earliest reference for the phrase ‘Christmas in July’ was in July 1933 at a girl’s summer camp in North Carolina USA. The term later gained momentum with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy ‘Christmas in July’ in 1940. Later in 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in the USA celebrated ‘Christmas in July’ featuring a sermon ‘Christmas Presents in July’ which also included the erection of a Christmas tree, which by the end of the sermon would be covered with donations and gifts from the congregation. The donations and gifts are then distributed to missions worldwide. In 1946 this annual service began to be broadcast over local radio. It was not until the 1950’s that American advertisers lead the way for “Christmas in July” themes for sales.
While the Yulefest has become an incredibly popular annual Australian non-official holiday season, Christmas in July in Copenhagen, Denmark at Bakken is quite unique, featuring the annual World Santa Claus Congress. Bakken is a popular amusement park where hundreds of Santas, Mrs Clauses and elves from around the world come together to be jolly at this festival each year. They hold parades and love to go to the beach for an annual beach paddle. It’s known to be quite amusing to see all these Santas at the beach. The King of Santas for the year is named during this ‘Christmas in July festival’ and many challenging issues are discussed like what is Santa’s true homeland and what size presents should be given! There are even belly shaking chuckle competitions as part of the festivities at this fun event.
Here are some universal thoughts on some of the symbols related to Christmas in July:
– Red is the main colour of Christmas in July – represents the magical flow of life, the blood that flows within all of us – so remember to let your love, passion and energy flow. Commit to show your love a little more each day and do what you do, no matter how insignificant you may consider it, with a little more love and enthusiasm each day and you will discover a new passion for life within you and a new flow of energy.
– The second colour of Christmas in July is green – greenery reminds us to honour the everlasting transformative element of nature. Everything is radiating energy. Energy does not die it merely transforms. Green soothes our heart knowing we are part of an endless cycle that disburses and rebirths anew.
– The combination of Red and Green on the colour wheel – red and green are opposites and opposites create balance. These two prominent colours of Christmas in July draw us to a deep unconscious connection to harmony and peace that we all seek within. The Christmas wreath has both red and green and is tied with a ribbon to remind us that we are all tied together; we belong to each other!