The Myth of White Christmas

During the day, fluffy powder snow, clear air and bright sunshine above. In the evening a romantic walk in the snow when everything is so peaceful and the white stuff on Christmas day covers up everything. We all love a white Christmas! Everything looks magical in fresh white sparkles with decorated fir trees in competition. The whole world is quiet. Stress and everyday life are under the thick mantle of snow hidden. Then we feel like children again and rejoice at the snow. Snow Plaza shows where there are guaranteed a white Christmas this year.



Chances for a white Christmas

Only a snow cover of at least 2 cm brings the right feeling of white Christmas. The temperatures before the Christmas days should be below freezing so that the earth cools. But that all these conditions and favorable weather coincide, which occur just around the holidays is unlikely in most cities. Therefore, in 70 percent of cases are not white but green Christmas.

Where there are white Christmas this year?

The chances of a white Christmas are especially good in the ski resorts of the Alps at a height of 1,200 meters since the temperatures in December falls regularly below freezing. Guaranteed snow in the last five years was from about a height of 1,500 meters. There are highest and snowiest places in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy with a nearly 100% snow.



The snowiest places on Christmas

The overview shows the most snow ski, indicating the altitude. In these 20 places was even last snowless winter at the Christmas holidays snow in the valley.

Val Thorens (FR): 2.300 m
Hochgurgl (AT): 2.150 m
Val Senales (IT): 2,011 meters
Kühtai-Sellraintal (AT): 2.020 m
Bettmeralp (CH): 1.950 m
Obergurgl (AT): 1.930 m
Solda (IT): 1900 m
St. Moritz (CH): 1.856 m
Val d'Isère (FR): 1.850 m
Saas-Fee Saastal (CH): 1800 m
Arosa CH): 1775 m
St. Christoph (AT): 1765 m
Upper Lech (AT): 1740 m
Zürs (AT): 1720 m
Montague (CH): 1700 m
OBERTAUERN (AT): 1685 m
Warth (AT): 1494 m
Lech (AT): 1450 m
Andermatt (CH): 1444 m
Damüls (AT): 1431 m

Skiing holiday tip: Christmas Eve in Lech am Arlberg

Lech am Arlberg is located in one of the snowiest regions of the Alps. Although it is not very cheap in the true-resort, a charming atmosphere prevails in Lech am Arlberg at Christmas. The roofs of the houses have been always decorated with a white frost, and in the hotels delightful Christmas receptions are held. In addition, since Lech am Arlberg remain cloudy for most of the day, the snow remains even longer in plus temperatures. Last year, over 100 km of slopes on Christmas Eve and Christmas holidays were prepared.

Snow forecast for Christmas

Rarely in the year are we meteorologists as in demand as in the Advent season. After all, as early as possible they want to announce what many of us expect: white Christmas. How much snow will fall at Christmas, can be reliably said only three days in advance. From early December weather experts forecast White Christmas. These estimates are based on current weather data.



Why does everybody want white Christmas anyway?

In Australia, people celebrate in shorts, in Europe people wish for a white Christmas. In the mid-19th century, Christmas cards came with snow motifs, which the emigrants from America sent home. In England, at the same time, the trend to travel during the Christmas holidays in the snowy Alps developed. So Christmas was brought more often with snow in combination. The stupid thing is that this is a cliché, which still has the same origin as today's (commercialized) Santa Claus: America!

Missing context

It's a little bit of a paradox. In the Bible, no snow is mentioned during the birth of Jesus Christ. At least the Christmas Gospel - after all, the basis for the festival gives no evidence of it. The image of a white Christmas is instead shaped in poems or songs. Although sung in various songs (from Let It Snow until White Christmas), snow in itself has nothing to do with Christmas. And yet, for most, one thing somehow belongs to the other - even winter haters make it an exception at Christmas. At least today.

Once Upon a time

In medieval Europe, the situation was still different. The cold season was often hard and depriving, heating was a foreign word, hunger and illness were the order of the day. It is hard to imagine that our ancestors would have been looking forward to snow and cold just in time for Christmas!

White Christmas, green Easter, says an old saying, is meant to comfort us in the midst of the rigors of winter with the joyous prospect of an early morning glory.

People were therefore rather happy when the spring is back as soon as possible and everything is green. That's why is the old Christmas custom with the evergreen mistletoe branches.

Do you want to build a snowman?

With the beginning of industrialization, however, this relationship with winter changed quite quickly. It is very nice to see the example of the snowman. Originally hated as the personification of the cold season (nothing with 'look how nice, a snowman'). This was in the course of the 19th century when the snow became the symbol of fun. And just in this time also the birth of the dream white Christmas falls.

Just a fashion trend

From the middle of the 19th century, the trend to send Christmas cards started to increase. If the festival itself was the center of attention at the beginning, another motif has developed into a bestseller. It is the white winter landscapes in all variations. Interestingly enough, the first postcards of this kind came from America, to be more precise from New England in the northeast of the USA. It celebrates White Christmas astonishingly then and now.

You always want what you do not have

The "old world" (pronounced Europe) was so taken with this snow romanticism that it became a symbol of what Christmas should look like. Really stupid but that it did not always work so well in the 19th century!

December is regarded as the winter month par excellence and white Christmas is just as welcome as green Easter. We demand the brutal power of winter as after the mild scepter of spring the icy splendor of the first refreshed as the early charm of the latter. But the month of Christ did not correspond to the cherished expectations. The landscape was missing the winter dress.

And a few years later

White Christmas! It almost seems as if the present generation of Central Europe should be able to do without the snow cover in the Christmas week, which makes the beautiful party in the domestic circle all the more comfortable. For years, we have been celebrating the festival at an almost southern temperature, and the radiant lights of the Christmas tree, which otherwise pleasantly increased the heat flowing from the large tiled stove, bring the room temperature almost to an uncomfortable height, otherwise, the heating material is saved.

Badly chosen

Even in Europe snow was not the order of the day for Christmas, otherwise, you would not have needed Christmas with winter landscapes from America. It is actually obvious why it only rarely works with the snow at Christmas with us. The festival of the festivals is simply unfavorable!

Think logically

The winter solstice (usually December 21) is not so long back at Christmas. According to the calendar, the winter is just 3 days old, but the actual winter months are only just around the corner with January and February. And if there is snow before the festival, the Christmas thaw usually hits. White Christmas can only be the exception to the rule! Why does nobody really want to admit it? Well, probably because the grandma always tells something else. But why is she doing that? Luckily, there are weather records!

Grandma said it all!

And they clearly show that most of the grandparents are not entirely wrong when they tell their grandchildren that they used to stumble through the snow at Christmas. There is a reason for this. The glorified memories of the 1960s, which actually brought a series of cold and snowy winters. There was a white Christmas practically every year. No one knows why the '60s stand out. But the fact is that snow is rather scarce at Christmas.

Hard facts

If you leave out the snowy 60s outside, then the number of Christmas parties in white drops significantly. And in recent years, even at altitudes of 1000 meters, there was no guarantee for white Christmas. There is real snow guarantee for Christmas only in the mountain regions.



Last white Christmas

And this already meager statistical probability for white Christmas will continue to decline in the future. Although White Christmas was never really common, as we have seen, it will become even rarer in the future.

By the way, the term white Christmas is very generously used by us. No matter if it is just sugared, or if there are real masses of snow - white is white. The jackpot would be, of course, if it snowed on Christmas Eve itself - but statistically this is even less likely.

In America, however, things are much stricter. White Christmas is clearly regulated there. On Christmas morning (25.12.) At least 2.5 cm of snow must be there, while the Canadians are already satisfied with 2 cm. The British have a very unique definition. A single snowflake on Christmas day is sufficient in England to pass as white! But if snow has fallen in the days before, but not on Christmas Day itself, then there is snow for Christmas, the festival is still in the statistics as a green one. Other countries other manners.

Obviously, this theory can not be proved, but the fact is that before 1850 any snow reference to Christmas cards of all kinds is missing! For example, a British postcard from 1845 shows Santa Claus (Father Christmas) walking on snow-free roofs. Another show people celebrating from 1843 surrounded by grapevines. So it is a rather autumnal theme (the custom of the Christmas tree was still in its infancy). Only in the 50s of the 19th century, there are first evidence of snow on Christmas cards.

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