|When this comes out, you know it's Christmas|
Having grown up in Adelaide I have become used to the standard events that are rolled out across the city during the festive season. It usually begins with the Christmas Pageant, a parade that winds its way through the city streets boasting floats, clowns, dancers, and marching bands, with the final float carrying Father Christmas to the magic cave (located now, I believe, in David Jones). The pageant (which this year was on 15th November) is considered to be the start of the Christmas trading period (which differs in places such as the United States, where Thanksgiving Day is generally when the season begins).
However, we have none of that in Melbourne. In fact, the first Christmas I was here all I could find were the Christmas Windows, a series of displays in the windows of Myer on the Bourke Street Mall. A part of me, upon seeing this, asked myself 'what? is that all?' and I decided to try to find out how else Melbourne celebrates this time of year (because there certainly wasn't going to be a pageant).
|This year it is Santa and the Three Bears|
So, as I was wondering around Melbourne, trying to see how this city celebrates Christmas (because it seems that every city has it's own particular approach to this season - as I discovered not all of them has a pageant), I came across a dive bar.
|I looked really out of place down here in my suit|
So, after stopping by for a $3.00 pot of some random beer (I think it was called Sailor Jerry - and apparently it was spiced as well), I continued my wanderings around to the City Square where I suddenly discovered where I could find Santa Claus.
Google Maps had it in the wrong place, so here is the street view
However this rather plain open space had suddenly had a makeover with the arrival of our friend from the North Pole.
|Those guards are probably to stop people making off with the presents|
|Unfortunately Santa was asleep when I came past.|
|At least they included the nativity scene|
Well, that kept me occupied for all of five minutes (and most of that time was spent taking photos that I could post on the internet). So, having discovered where Santa was hiding here in Melbourne, I decided to call it a night, jumped on a train, and went to the pub for a beer (and it was a pretty decent pub at that).
However, while I have not hung around the city long enough for it to start this year, last year I spent Christmas Eve wandering around Melbourne to feel the vibe of the place (and may have gone and seen a movie as well, but I really can't remember). However, as I was walking past the Town Hall, this what I discovered:
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