Christmas in Papua New Guinea

21st December 2018

Feature image by MadNESS Photography

The tropical climes of Papua New Guinea are far removed from the White Christmas so renowned in the Northern hemisphere but make no mistake Christmas festivity abounds with a uniquely local flavour.

Christmas sees PNG in full flower, with the scent of frangipanis lingering long into the night while carols are a fixture on many communities’ calendars, and the season of giving is in full swing.

Here’s a quick guide to Christmas in Papua New Guinea…

How it’s celebrated

The concept of Christmas arrived in PNG with the missionaries about 200 years ago and it’s a celebration that has rapidly spread. While not all villages embrace the tradition, it is widely acknowledged and is marked with a public holiday.

The Christian influence sees churches around the nation filled to capacity on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, while the sounds of carols resonate in the streets and shopping malls.

In many ways, Christmas in PNG mirrors that in Australia, featuring the lively ambience of family gatherings, gift giving and a Christmas Day feast.

Carols by Candlelight

This year has also seen a first for Port Moresby, with Carols by Candlelight moving to the newly redeveloped Ela Beach waterfront on December 16. The shift is heralded as a major milestone for the city after the venue was successfully showcased and extensively utilised during APEC.

Now it has been handed over to the people, with Port Moresby residents seizing the opportunity to enjoy a beach in the heart of the city, as the Post Courier recently reflected:

“As it is, citizens of Port Moresby are thoroughly enjoying the new look Era Kone with its dynamic design and facilities which are intended to make it a place for relaxation from the hustle and bustle of work.”

Christmas lights

Each year, Port Moresby also hosts its annual Christmas program, which officially launched this year on December 12 when Christmas lights were switched on at Jack Pidik Park, 5-Mile.

Opening the annual event, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop noted Christmas was an important time on the PNG calendar every year.

“It is a time for peace,” Mr Parkop said, urging everyone to take the opportunity to forgive and make peace with one another.


Festive fare

Local custom sees Christmas celebrated with traditional dishes such as Pork roasted in a mumu (earth oven), served with vegetables like sweet potato.

Meanwhile, Western style fare is available at a host of restaurants and hotels across major cities like Port Moresby.

This year, Port Moresby’s Lamana Hotel will offer a buffet lunch and activities for the children, including dancing Santas, movies and gifts.

Bacchus Restaurant will feature an elegant lunch and dinner with live entertainment, and Vue Restaurant will serve up Christmas lunch and dinner buffets, featuring seafood.

Paga Hill Estate would like to warmly wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that your day is filled with Christmas festivities, joy and peace.

Paga Hill Estate is a world class master planned estate in the heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The waterfront site is the first comprehensively planned multi-use development in Papua New Guinea to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike. The all-inclusive development will include vibrant public spaces and waterfront promenade, luxury hotels, residential apartments, restaurants, retail, commercial space, a Trade, Exhibition & Cultural Centre, restoration of WWII relics, marina precinct and a nearby international cruise liner terminal.