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It’s hard to imagine, but as we pack our suitcases in a Johannesburg baking in the heat of a day reaching 35 degrees, many Danes will be preparing the duck for tonight’s Mortens Aften dinner: A celebration well into the Scandinavian autumn, clearly marking that we’re now on our way to Christmas.

On this side the equator the shopping malls are already filled with the incongruity of fake Christmas trees and reindeer, while the sun beats down outside those air conditioned spaces. Incongruities can have their own charm though. I’m thinking of my grandmother’s Butterkuchen happily enjoyed in a similar heat.

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