21 December 2013

SantaCon (Guest post: Alana)

Does hanging out with thousands of Santas spreading good cheer around central London, sound like your cup of tea? It sound's amazing to me - right up there with the Christmas Pudding Race, the Hot Cross Bun ceremony and International Pillow Fight Day.

Sadly, I couldn't go, but luckily we have the lovely Alana, brunch buddy, Tweep corraller and in this instance intrepid Kiwi reporter presenting from the frontline for us!
 

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 SantaCon


  
When you're a kiwi expat Christmas takes on a different meaning. It's not about family, BBQs and summer anymore because you create new traditions with the help of your 'family' of friends and fellow expats. Three years ago I turned up in a £5 paper thin santa costume to what I thought was a themed pub crawl and discovered a whole new Christmas tradition.



Welcome to SantaCon. The primary rule of SantaCon is you must be in a santa costume. It doesn't matter if you wear a cheap suit off the internet or a fully themed getup. You can even be a bit alternative and dress as an elf or a reindeer if you want.



SantaCon is non religious, non political and there is minimal organisation. If there is a purpose of the day it's to join your fellow santas walking around London spreading christmas cheer, confusing tourists, posing for photos, visiting famous landmarks and handing out candy to children.



O Come All Ye Santas

O come, all ye Santas,
Joyful and a bit drunk,
O come ye, O come ye to Selfridges;
Come and behold him,
Born the King of Christmas;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Sa – anta Claus.

Sing, choirs of Santas,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Sa – antacon;
Glory to Santa
In the highest;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Sa – anta Claus




Santa herders help move people along to predetermined (but unannounced) locations throughout the day, gradually meeting up with Santas from other starting points round London until there are hundreds of us.



It's glorious. It's chaotic. Everyone is your friend because everyone is called Santa. If you get lost you can share a beverage with a new santa crew until your original friends find you again (which can take a while as everyone is wearing red and white too!). As far as traditions go this is a good one – in fact I'm already counting down the days until I can dress up in my next santa costume and do it all over again.

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This is why I love our crazy city, and it's crazy inhabitants. Thank you Alana, you are a legend.

Ps. If you're keen to dust off your red suit next year, read the Santacon website - whilst there I highly recommend you check out the Santacon What to wear section.

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5 comments :

  1. in NYC it seems like it is much more of a disaster!! this is very sweet and fun, usually ours entails lots of public humiliation (aka vomiting and destroying things)


    the worldling blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no - though I do suspect that later in the day that's how our London Claus's ended up...

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    2. Santa does like a bit of a tipple and I'll admit alcohol does pay a part. However the organisers this year were really trying to avoid the damage the out of control people cause - especially since the NY one last year was particularly bad.
      There's always some people who try ruin it - but generally most people are just really happy, nice and a bit tipsy!

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  2. Oh My Goodness, I am ALL over this! They do something similar in NYC too, my friend goes every now and again.

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