What Are Some Christmas Traditions in Antarctica?

Specific Christmas traditions in Antarctica can depend on the nationalities of the people at each station, but generally will include a Christmas meal and a party. For example, McMurdo Station celebrates by having a Christmas Eve party with songs from the Christmas Choir. Later on, the choir performs a recital and the station has a carol sing-along.

December is a summer month in Antarctica, with the continent experiencing 24 hours of daylight during this time. It is also one of the busiest times at the stations because the people there typically are only staying a short time. There is no build-up to Christmas through decorations, gift shopping, television shows or family traditions. Therefore, Christmas tends to be a quiet time in Antarctica.

A traditional meal is generally held on Christmas, with a party afterwards. People will often dress up, sometimes in costumes that took all day to make. If there is a satellite link available, people often call home. Otherwise, many will use the Internet to connect with family back home. Gifts are generally not exchanged since there are no stores to purchase them. However, many people will have gifts from home that they saved to open on Christmas. Sometimes, people will take an afternoon walk if the weather permits.