Denmark celebrates 'Christimas in July' with Santas from around the world

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Denmark celebrates 'Christimas in July' with Santas from around the world

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Culture

Denmark celebrates 'Christimas in July' with Santas from around the world

Sleigh bells, reindeer and Christmas trees â€" but in July? The annual World Santa Claus Congress in Denmark celebrates exactly that amid sweltering temperatures.

Dänemark Weihnachtsmann-Kongress in Kopenhagen (Reuters/A. Kelly)

What better way to survive the heatwave sweeping Europe than donning multilayered red velvet frocks and wearing fake white beards made from the most exquisite polyester and acrylic material?

One might be considered insane for even considering it â€" but in Denmark, people from around the globe are doing just that at the annual World Santa Claus Congress (WSSC).

The three-day event in the Danish capital Copenhagen says it's bringing together 125 Santas from 15 countries "to discuss professional issues." Networking among reindeer is optional.

World Santa Claus Congress in Denmark (Reuters/A. Ke   lly)

Santas and their little helpers pay a visit to Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid statue

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful â€" to Copenhagen

The "Christmas in July" style festival combines various Yuletide activities including a Santa obstacle course, a footbath in the sea at nearby Bellevue Beach, and various shows and jamborees at the Dyrehavsbakken amusement park (known locally as Bakken). There is even a "great pixie-orchestra" featuring 20 Christmas elves.

As a highlight, the international delegation of Santas at the WSSC hits the streets of Copenhagen in full costume for a parade in front of thousands of spectators â€" despite the ho-ho-hot temperatures forecast for the week (reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius). One person was reportedly even dressed up as a Christmas tree this year.

World Santa Claus Congress in Denmark (Reuters/A. Kelly)

Among the 15 nationalities attending this year are Santas from Japan, Canada and the US

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The WSSC dates back to 1957 when its founder, Bakken entertainer Professor Tribini, decided to bring Santas together for some socializing as well as a healthy dose of festive cheer at the height of summer.

Santa Stan Miller from Alabama told Reuters that Santas come to the event to "enjoy beautiful Copenhagen and to share and exchange information and ideas about how to make the world a better place to live for everyone."

"That is what being Santa Claus is all about," he added.

World Santa Claus Congress in Denmark (picture-alliance/Scanp   ix Denmark/S. C. Noergaard)

Even Santas deserve a bit of fun - before having to get ready for their busy season later in the year

Read more: Why St. Nicholas puts candy in boots and stole our hearts

  • USA Santa Claus School in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    Not a hair out of place

    What would Santa be without his beard? At the "Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School" in the town of Midland in the US state of Michigan, students learn how to comb and groom their beard. Artificial beards are frowned upon. Those who aren't blessed with enough natural whiskers can turn to buffalo hair to fill in the holes.

  • USA Santa Claus    School in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    The Santa diet

    A real Saint Nick must have a belly that can shake like a bowl full of jelly. Eating lots of gingerbread and chocolate is thus part of the preparation. Aside from the signature outfit, prospective Santas are also equipped with make-up tips in class. Kids expect merry dimples, cheeks like roses and a nose like a cherry.

  • USA Weihnachtsmänner in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    Dancing with Santa

    While sitting with kids on your lap is one part of the job, the "Santa School" also teaches dance moves - never know what guests might ask for at the office Christmas party. Here Glenn Johnson of Woodstock, Georgia, is practicing what looks like a whip swing to get Rudolph and his fellow reindeer up into the sky.

  • USA Santa Claus School in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    What is it, Prancer?

    While this picture was taken at the Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm in Clare, Michigan, the "Santa School" offers lessons in reindeer behavior as well. The animals play an important part in the holidays. According to Christmas lore, eight flying reindeer pull Santa's sleighs - nine if you include red-nosed Rudolph.

  • USA Santa Claus School in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    Santa's workshop

    Most kids ask for iPads instead of wooden cars today. But Santa students in Michigan still learn the basics of toy makin g. Experts say that children's wishes get more expensive every year. Some boys and girls ask for presents adding up to a value of 15,000 dollars - per child. That will put you on the naughty list.

  • USA Santa Claus School in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas

    Always jolly, kind and patient - the true "Santa spirit" is part of the curriculum as well. In addition to such intangible matters, students also learn about Saint Nicholas, who according to European legends puts candy in children's boots on December 6, and Santa Claus, who is bringing the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depending on the country you live in.

  • USA Santa Claus School in Michigan (Reuters/C. Muschi)

    The art of being Santa

    Take a deep breath

    Ho-ho-ho-ing just right isn't an easy task. That's why instructors also teach breathing techniques. The whole Santa course lasts three days and graduates receive a certificate at the end. These certified Santas can earn up to 50 dollars an hour. Students come from all over the world and include engineers, lawyers and teachers.

    Author: Nastassja Shtrauchler (cb)


DW recommends

Summer Santa Claus convention brings Christmas cheer to Denmark

Christmas is still six months away, but Santa Clauses around the world are already combing their beards and pulling on their boots. This week, they're spreading Christmas cheer at a conference in Denmark. (24.07.2017)

Why St. Nicholas puts candy in boots and stole our hearts

Were your boots ready for St. Nicholas Day on December 6? DW's Sertan Sanderson explores why the saint means so much to both secular and religious people all over the world. (06.12.2017)

The art of being Santa

Lessons in beard grooming, Santa Spirit and ho-ho-ho-ing: the world's oldest Santa Claus School in Michigan is turning interested candidates into Saint Nick pros. Take-home sleighs not included. (13.12.2016)

  • Date 23.07.2018
  • Author Sertan Sanderson (with Reuters)
  • Related Subjects Mary, Danish Princess , Copenhagen, Santa Claus
  • Keywords Santa Claus, Copenhagen, Denmark, World Santa Claus Congress, WSSC, Dyrehavsbakken, Bakken
  • Feedback: Send us your feedback.
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/31uui

Related content

Dänemark, Santa Claus World Congress

Summer Santa Claus convention brings Christmas cheer to Denmark 24.07.2017

Christmas is still six months away, but Santa Clauses around the world are already combing their beards and pulling on their boots. This week, they're spreading Christmas cheer at a conference in Denmark.

  • Date 23.07.2018
  • Author Sertan Sanderson (with Reuters)
  • Related Subjects Mary, Danish Princess , Copenhagen, Santa Claus
  • Keywords Santa Claus, Copenhagen, Denmark, World Santa Claus Congress, WSSC, Dyrehavsbakk en, Bakken
  • Send us your feedback.
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/31uui
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Source: Google News Denmark | Netizen 24 Denmark

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