Christmas in New Zealand is very different to christmas in Italy. The main difference is that it is summer in New Zealand, so there is no snow. Most families spend their time outside perhaps at their homes, the lake or at the beach. Many familes have a barbeque, some have a traditional meal called a ‘Hangi’. A hangi is an underground oven, which means the food is cooked under the ground. Typical hangi food consists of, chicken, beef, pork, potatoes, kumara or sweet potatoe, pumpkin and stuffing (bread crumbs). A hangi takes a long time to prepare as a fire needs to be started and rocks need to be heated to get the ground extremely hot. Once the gound is hot enough the food is placed in iron baskets and then into the ground where it is left for about four hours to cook. After four hours the food is bought out of the ground ready for all to enjoy. It is has quite a smokey flavour and is delicious! For desert most families also enjoy a popular New Zealand desert called a pavlova, which is a meringue covered with whipped cream and the decorated with fresh fruit and chocolate flakes.
People often spend New Years at the beach or wherever festivals are being held. The night begins with lots of musical performances and the finishes off with a fire work display.
We call this time in New Zealand the ‘Summer Holidays’. They are a great time to be with family and friends.
By Dana Haimona
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