Christmas in July: Santas of the World Gather in Denmark

For a week each summer, the Santas of the world put toy-making on the back burner for a little merry-making with their kin.

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Torkil Adsersen / EPA

The World Santa Claus Congress has been held in Denmark in the middle of the summer since 1957.

It only makes sense that a gathering of more than a hundred Santas from around the world takes on a pseudo-political name. Their annual meeting is known as the World Santa Claus Congress, and this year marks the 55th year that the red-suited, rosy-cheeked St. Nicks have congregated in Denmark.

This week, the agenda for the event, held in an amusement park near Copenhagen, includes an ever-important discussion of reindeer parking rules and ideal chimney dimension, followed by baking, storytelling, and even a footbath. Because, so we hear, all that scrambling up and down chimneys can make even the most nimble toes rather sore. But the most popular activity so far, says the Associated Press, has been Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance fitness program. Blame it on all those cookies. Additional workouts, such as scaling a chimney and climbing an ice mountain, are on the schedule for the gathering that ends Thursday.

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Professor Tribini, a legendary entertainer at the Bakken amusement park, created the World Santa Claus Congress in 1957 because he believed Christmas should take place more than once a year, says the event website. In Denmark, the Santa Congress is now a popular summer event that attracts hundreds of Santas and thousands of visitors. Because even Santa deserves a vacation.

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