A Winter(?) Christmas in Tainan!

I don’t know about you but when I imagine celebrating a Winter Christmas, my mind immediately goes to snow, hot chocolate by the fire and ice skating, however Winter Christmas in Tainan was definitely not that! First of all, Christmas isn’t widely celebrated in Tainan and isn’t a public holiday so in the days leading up I almost forgot that it was happening! With being so busy exploring the city, attending cultural classes and working on our classwork the day definitely crept up on us.

The 15 of us from Auckland decided to spend the day celebrating at Tainan Park, a spot only a 15 minute walk away from our dormitory. Luckily, as Christmas isn’t a public holiday a lot of places were open so we all brought along heaps of food to share, as well as some Christmas decorations and music to get in the festive mood! I was surprised by the large number of other families also out celebrating which created a really nice, homely environment. In a way, the day turned out very similar to what I would have had with my own family. Everyone gathered round the table together, eating delicious food, giving out our Secret Santa presents and great conversation, not to mention the constant reapplication of sunblock and insect repellent which felt very Kiwi!

Unfortunately, a lot of us had speeches to do in class the next day so after the festivities, headed back to the dorm to work on those for a bit! It felt very weird having schoolwork to do around this time of year as usually in New Zealand it’s the summer holidays so I can spend the whole day relaxing! Although it felt strange being away from family and having an atypical Christmas day, the people on the trip made it so enjoyable and I know that it will be a Christmas that I’ll remember forever!

At first, I wanted to try and create a Christmas Day as similar as possible to what I would have back home in New Zealand. However, once I realised that instead of focusing on trying to recreate that experience, I should embrace and enjoy the differences, it was so much more enjoyable!

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