25 December, 2013

Celebrating Christmas in Antarctica

Being at the height of the Antarctic Summer the Christmas period was a very busy time at the bases and although it was not as eagerly celebrated as Midwinter’s Day, Christmas Day down South often involved a hearty feast and a number of games. The many menus show that a traditional Christmas meal was indulged in, in fact some FIDS recall burying a Turkey in a snow-drift in an attempt to keep it fresh until the 25th. A tin of ham was sometimes used as a substitute for Turkey, which must have been a far more appealing alternative than the cooked seagull served up on Christmas Day 1945 during Operation Tabarin! At some bases, lunch was followed by listening to the Queen’s 3 o’clock broadcast. Besides food, those wintering got up to a variety of activities on the day, including; playing football, water polo, taking part in a high jump competition and sledging across the ice in dinner suit attire.