If for many, Christmas rhymes with a snowman and a fireplace fire, know that in some faraway and sunny places, Santa Claus goes around in his bathing suit! So why not change the decor this year and spend Christmas in the sun? From Brazil to Australia to South Africa, the destinations we have chosen all guarantee a summery climate with twelve strokes of midnight. Trade your Christmas log for a refreshing sorbet, this year you will open your gifts with your feet in the water!
Cuba, the mysterious island
How about exchanging your mulled wine for a glass of rum? During the Christmas holidays, Cuba is bathed in the sun and its crystal-clear beaches are considered the most beautiful Christmas gift! From Havana to Trinidad or Santiago de Cuba, the colourful facades and Cuban music on every street corner guarantee a festive atmosphere. On the evening of the 24th, do not miss the Parrandas de Remedios, a popular festival during which floats, fireworks and dance competitions invade the city!
The French West Indies, under the tropical sun
The most difficult thing will be to choose: Martinique? Guadeloupe? Saint-Martin? Saint-Barthélémy? Marie-Galante? The Desirade? One thing is certain, you will celebrate Christmas in France, but under the sun! In the West Indies, the trunks of palm trees are illuminated and, on Christmas Day, small dishes are put into the big ones to prepare a feast accompanied by schrubb, a festive cocktail made from citrus fruits macerated in rum or flavoured with spices
Australia, Christmas at the end of the world
If there is one country in the world that celebrates Christmas in the sun, it is Australia! Due to the ambient heat in December, Australians have Christmas traditions that are at odds with those of France: barbecue on the beach, refreshing cocktails and swimsuits are on the menu! The atmosphere is festive and every year Melbourne hosts its big Christmas concert, which is broadcast on television across the country.
Brazil, a festive Christmas
One of the major attractions of the end of the year celebrations in Brazil is the gigantic fir tree of the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, it announces the opening of the end of the year celebrations. Warm or not, the Brazilian Christmas table is rich in food: you will not escape the famous "chocotone", the local and gourmet version of the Italian panettone, coated in chocolate. To finish the evening and wait for Santa Claus, go to Copacabana Beach!
Malta, the accessible one
If the temperatures are a little chilly to celebrate Christmas with your feet in the water, Malta has the advantage of being accessible by 2h30 by plane from Paris. In addition, December is the low season, so it is ideal to enjoy the island at a reduced price. The usual spring climate will give a Mediterranean touch to your Christmas celebration, in a very traditional setting: the living crib of Ghajnsielem is spectacular.
Hawaii, oceanic fairy tales
In Hawaii, the Christmas atmosphere is alive and well, despite the sun and the azure blue ocean. Honolulu's illuminations - "the Honolulu city lights" - mark the beginning of the festivities in November: children meet Santa Claus who sometimes exchanges his traditional red and white coat for a floral shirt. Christmas is celebrated with a real feast where stuffed turkey blends with other flavours such as the typical macadamia nut and pineapple cake.
Mauritius, the sun at its best
If you are exasperated by the Christmas festivities and dream of going into exile for a different December 25th, Mauritius is the ideal place. Paradise coves and dream lagoons await you for a simple New Year's Eve, facing nature and with your feet in the water. Let yourself be tempted by typical dishes such as camarons in red sauce, tasty shellfish, or poudine maye, a creole corn cake
The Canary Islands, a Caliente Christmas
The seven islands of the Canary Islands are bathed in the sun all year round. Hiking, wild parties, scuba diving or windsurfing, they offer a wide range of activities in all seasons. When Christmas arrives, giant nativity scenes - belenes - are set up everywhere. The most impressive is in Gran Canaria, on Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas: it is built exclusively of sand!
South Africa, a guaranteed change of scenery
Even if the temperature is close to 30° C, don't worry, the magic of Christmas is present in South Africa! Most celebrations take place on the beach, under the sun. South Africans often enjoy a braai, a local barbecue, with a delicious wine from the Stellenbosch vineyards. For a magical Christmas, treat yourself to a visit to Kruger National Park to discover elephants, buffaloes and lions.
The Bahamas, three days of celebration
The only mention of this name makes you dream: the Bahamas is the ideal setting for a holiday combining luxury, glitter and idleness. The Christmas season allows you to enjoy the white sand while discovering a popular event: the Junkanoo Carnival in Nassau, on December 26. After the Christmas festivities, the whole city disguises itself in colourful parades. The Junkanoo Carnival was born in the 16th century when slaves marched down the street to parody the powerful.