Christmas in New Caledonia is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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Christmas Day and the Christmas season are a busy time of year in New Caledonia. This is one of the main tourist seasons on the island with many from Australia, New Zealand, and France coming here while the kids are out of school.
About half in New Caledonia are Catholic and often go to mass all night on the day before Christmas. They seek to welcome Christmas morning while joyfully remembering the day that Christ was born. Many Protestants and Evangelicals in New Caledonia go to church on Christmas Day or the Sunday nearest to Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Saviour.
The capital city of Noumea is lit up like a Christmas tree for the holidays each year. The city centre is the brightest spot, including Coconut Palm Square, the capital complex, and the Noumea Museum. Both palm trees and buildings are decked out with multi-coloured lights for the occasion.
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