Christmas, South African style

15 December 2021
Forget the snow and jerseys. It is ke Dezemba all the way, baby.
Christmas South African style winter summer article image two christmas trees

Christmas movies, widely made elsewhere in the world when it is their winter, is riddled with snow, coats, hot chocolate, and eggnog. ⛄️  But we, in the southern hemisphere make it our own. 🌞🌲

And here are a few differences between how we in South Africa celebrate the day compared to some other parts of the world. In fact, ke December (also warmly referred to as ke Dezemba) has become something of a cultural phenomenon where the entire month is marked with summery highlights and a collective sigh of relief to end the year. It is a spirit that lifts people’s souls as they take leave at work, schools and universities close, most people get to spend time with families and go on well-deserved break. It isn’t just about the festive season, it is a feeling that encapsulates the month, defining it from the monotony of the other 11. 💯


It is the middle of winter so it is likely to snow. This means everyone needs to wear their cosiest clothes and drink the warmest drinks.

South Africa:

We are in the midst of summer. Usually, the days are warm if not blistering hot. So we wear shorts, summer dresses, and sandals.

1639540105 28 christmas south african style clothes winter summer


Again, the weather dictates the food eaten. Expect roasts in the oven and warm desserts eaten indoors with a fireplace. Drinks tend to be things like eggnog or hot chocolate. There could be red wines and other drinks of that nature.

South Africa:

If it isn’t a meal with the family comprising South African favourites, the other option is to braai. And any drink that’s cold with optional ice cubes in it: cool drink or alcoholic beverages like beer and wine. Let us not forget cocktails.

1639540095 28 christmas south african style food winter summer


If the weather conditions are just right, it is a great time to go ice skating. Again, attire needs to be warm and, well, padded.

South Africa:

Forget the ice skating and jump straight into the pool, if you have one, or lounge around on a floater. Better yet, if you’re on the beach, there’s the option of surfing, sailing, and so many others. And this means it is time to take out the swimsuits and revel in the sunshine, wearing sunblock of course.

1639540084 28 christmas south african style skating pool winter summer

See more about local movies across M-Net, kykNET, Mzansi Magic, and Showmax here

How are you spending your ke Dezemba? Join the conversation online. Find us on Twitter (@MNet),  Instagram (@mnettv), and Facebook (@MNet).