The map above shows the probability of a white Christmas, defined as having snow on the ground on December 25th, across Europe. The map was created by Finish reddit user Haayoaie who states that:
When I started doing this map, I was really surprised that a white Christmas is so rare in most of Europe. Only less than 10 % of Europeans live in an area where the Christmas is usually white. I would have thought that a white Christmas is a much more common phenomenon because the Christmas is almost always pictured as snowy.
Doesn’t it feel weird to live in, like, England or Holland, and see all Christmas stories and decorations involving snow?
Conversely one of the more surprising things on the map is that Madrid has a 2% chance of a white Christmas, the same odds as Dublin. Moreover, many places you’d expect to always have white Christmases such as Copenhagen, Vienna, Reykjavik and Stockholm turn out to has them less than half the time.
In the UK, one of the reasons why Christmas is associated with snow may have something to do with Charles Dickens. According to QI: “There happened to be snow every Christmas of the first eight years of Charles Dickens’ life, which probably explains why white Christmases are a consistent feature of his stories.”
In contrast, London only had 4 white Christmases during the entire 20th century: 1927, 1938, 1970, and 1981, which makes the 4% odds look about right.
And finally in case you’re curious as to why white Christmases are so rare in Europe relative to North America, despite major European cities being further north, it all has to do with the Gulf Stream.
And while you might not get to enjoy a white Christmas this year, the following may help:
- White Christmas [DVD]
- White Christmas (New Edition)
- Display Snow Medium 5L
- Be Amazing SNO-500 Insta Snow Jar
- The Christmas Workshop Musical Christmas Snow Globe
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