Christmas in South Africa

How do I wish someone there a Happy Christmas?

  • Merry Christmas or geseënde Kersfees (Afrikaans)

When do they give presents?

  • Christmas Day

Who brings the presents?

  • Santa Claus

What’s on the menu?

  • Roast turkey or beef

Any other traditions I should know about?

  • As a result of South Africa’s historical links to Britain, many of its Christmas traditions are familiar. But Christmas here is in the Southern Hemisphere summer. So, alongside the fake snow, Santa suits and songs about cold weather, there’s also sunshine and flowers in bloom.
  • As it’s in the middle of the summer holidays, Christmas in South Africa might include a trip to the beach. Meanwhile the main meal is usually held outside. Braais – barbecues – are a popular way to eat during the festive season.
  • Big cities like Cape Town or Johannesburg hold Christmas markets. Carol concerts are also popular throughout the country.