Christmas is widdershins in New Zealand
Widdershins is an old English saying meaning ‘upside down. When the early colonists came to New Zealand in the 1880’s, they found the seasons back-to-front. Christmas was hot and July was cold, whereas they were used to it being the other way around.
“It’s widdershins here in the colonies,” they wrote back Home, “and the Christmas trees grow wild round the coast.”
The huge spreading pohutukawa trees that grace the coast have large florets with crimson stamens tipped with yellow. The leaves of the tree are thick and leathery to minimize moisture loss and protect them from the marine environment. We can lie on the sandy beaches beneath the shade of these trees between swimming and picnics.
After the present opening, the children put on the Nativity play to entertain us.
and the next day we go to the beach