Wizarding Christmas Comparisons: Northern and Southern Hemispheres
Wizard Christmases, who knew they could be so controversial? I did. Sas here, The Quibbler‘s new staff writer, and boy oh boy, do I have a scoop for you. Well, “scoop” is a strong word; however, my editor has gone on Christmas break early, so guess who is in charge? (Me. That’s who.) I searched the web for tidbits of Christmas traditions across both hemispheres, and what I discovered was exactly what I had assumed: Christmas is better down under. #truth.
*Disclaimer: In no way am I writing this article because I am working over Christmas and am mad about it. Nor am I writing this because I’m stuck in the Northern Hemisphere and I wish I was down south in the sun, Accio-ing another shrimp onto the barbie.
Northern Hemisphere – Fairies, pixies (not advised unless you are in Cornwall and even still not really advised), or – if you can stun them – gnomes on top of the Christmas tree are commonly utilized decorations as well as the standard green-and-red-themed baubles and tinsel. You know, boring stuff.
Southern Hemisphere – Decor here is far more interesting. For example, in a few African countries, such as South Africa, they decorate palm trees and mango trees with natural items as well as Streelers due to their changing multicolored shells. African wizards are adept at ensuring the toxic trail slime from the Streelers do not destroy the foliage they are placed on. This decoration is definitely not for the faint of heart. Exciting.
Northern Hemisphere – Yum, food. An important Christmas feature; however, in the North, they stick to the traditional meal: meat and three veg. Yes, the meat is glazed ham or turkey, and there is usually some sort of Aunt Rita’s Christmas pudding, but geez, spice things up a bit. I’d like my holiday feast without a side of blocked digestion thanks**. Although, let’s visit Japan where, in the ’70s, someone somehow (wizard or Muggle) managed to create a Christmas campaign that integrated KFC fried chicken into the holiday meal. This has become so sought after that wizards and Muggles alike must order this dish weeks in advance.
Southern Hemisphere – Over in Ethiopia, they have literally spiced things up with a traditional hot stew called “wat.” Usually prepared with rich vegetables but Ethiopian wizards have often substituted these with Shrivelfig leaves. A tricky ingredient if not prepared correctly. Ethiopians are often amused to see their fellow wizards who have miscalculated the dose and are shrunk in size for a good portion of the day.
Over in the antipodes, you will catch wizards and Muggles indulging in a popular Kiwi dessert called Pavlova. There is a huge debate over who “owns” this dessert between Australia and New Zealand, especially among Muggles. The antipodean magical community knows that, in fact, it was a Wellington wizard who created the dessert for Anna Pavlova, a famous ballerina who was touring New Zealand at that time. The dessert gained its name as its creator mimicked the folds of Anna’s tutu and incorporated this into the aesthetic of the dessert. However, by the time the recipe was produced to the general population in New Zealand, Anna had toured Australia and asked for the same dessert, thereby giving the Aussies cause to believe they invented it. Silly Australians.
Northern Hemisphere – Christmas activities likely cover the four S’s: sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and snowmen. However, in some places in North America, road closures due to snowfall impede these activities and force both wizards and Muggles to stay indoors and keep warm. Not what I would call a riveting activity. I will concede though that, over in Scotland, Scottish wizards do have an interesting Christmas activity that is not for the fainthearted: Hinkypunk dodgeball. Make sure to play this with protective fireproof gloves and never after consuming alcohol.
Southern Hemisphere – Chilly bins, BBQs, beers, and beach cricket are on the itinerary for the day here for many families. As the weather is fantastic, you are likely to find both wizard and Muggle families eating seafood and playing in the water. Surfing in Christmas hats has become a popular activity among wizards down under. However, in recent years, the popularity of this “sport” has slowed as the Ministry requested that wizards stop using Sticking Charms on their costumes since Muggle surfers were becoming suspicious of how wizards kept their Christmas hats on in rough tides.
Northern Hemisphere – Ugly wooly sweaters because everyone is cold and it gets dark at 3:00 p.m.
Southern Hemisphere – Cricket sets, DVDs of popular local movies, and prosecco because yum, and who doesn’t like drinking cheap champagne in the sun?
There you have it. Conclusive evidence the Southern Hemisphere does it better. I cannot put into words why – it is just the vibe of the thing. If you got that reference, then you are truly a summer Christmas champion and you know what I’ll be watching this December as I pine for my homeland. Wherever you are, stay safe and have a very merry season even if you are up north. After all, a (wo)man’s home is his (her) castle.
**I will reluctantly admit that England’s mince pies are very good. You get a point there, Northern Hemisphere.