They sure do!
There is simply no escape from Christmas. Not that that had been my intention when I set off to far-off destinations six weeks ago. Of course I was prepared to see Christmas celebrated in the south Pacific too. But the sheer scale of it certainly exceeds my expectations…
First some impressions from Nouméa’s main square, the Place des Cocotiers.
The giant christmas tree not only glitters from what seems to be a million little lamps. The highlight every evening are the ‘eruptions’ (for want of a better word) of artificial snowflakes. Much to the joy and excitement of hundreds of kids with their parents who are obviously having a great time.
Like in Europe, the commercial aspect is an integral element of Christmas celebration everywhere you look. It really is A LOT about consumption and entertainment.
Nouméa even boasts its own ‘marché de Noel’. The kids like it here, too. Even though they may never have seen real snow, let alone a full-grown snowman!
References to Christmas (mainly as decorative elements) can also be found outside of Nouméa, New Caledonia’s capital city. For instance, this Christmas tree was set up in the provincial town of Bourail already at the end of November:
It is strange for me to watch such a scene at more than 30 degrees in the shade, believe me… But quite amusing, frankly! The village of Farino had also installed its decorative street lighting already many weeks ago. Please note the wonderful representation of the Kagou, New Caledonia’s emblematic bird!
The best thing, however, I saw on a little market in Sarraméa at the end of November. And it’s probably also closest to the true meaning of Christmas.
Oh, and by the way, just in case you were wondering: in Sydney they also know it’s Christmas…
Do you want to see all the articles on New Caledonia? Then please click here.