Santas are already planning for Christmas - what about you?

 Santas are already planning for Christmas - what about you?
People dressed as Santa Claus bathe in the sea as they take part in the World Santa Claus Congress, an annual event held every summer at the amusement park Dyrehavsbakken, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
PHOTO: Reuters

COPENHAGEN - It's summertime in Denmark but Santas from around the world are already planning for the festive season, with more than 150 gathering in Copenhagen to share some early Christmas cheer.

The annual World Santa Claus Congress, now in its 60th year, has drawn attendees from a dozen countries, most sporting traditional red coats and white beards despite the warmer-than-winter weather.

The three-day event, always held at the Bakken amusement park, will see the Santas parade in the streets of the Danish capital, bathe in the sea and enjoy a herring tasting. Some will also take to the runway at a fashion show.

"We have a discussion about important things in life -- for example, which day is Christmas Day?" said Santa Wolfgang from Germany, who has been participating in the congress since 1996.

"Another idea is that you may not give tickets to vehicles from Santas when they are illegal parking. That should be forbidden."

Christmas is celebrated on different days in different countries, with Advent and other traditions extending the festive season through most of December and January.

Another hot topic at this year's congress is the colour of the Christmas tree, said Santa Elizabeth from Denmark.

"This year we are deciding whether the tree is to be purple, red or green... Green is my favourite colour," she said.

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