If your Santa Claus outfit does nothing but take up space in your closet for 11 months out of the year, you might want to head to Denmark in July.
The annual World Santa Claus Congress is a chance to put on that hot, itchy red outfit in the middle of the summer. This year, that sounded like a merry idea to 150 St. Nicks who convened in Copenhagen on July 18 for three days of Noel-themed revelry, organizers said.
The ho-ho-hoedown has been a Danish staple for 54 years. Danish entertainer Professor Tribini created the Christmas in July tradition in 1957 when he invited Santas to help rekindle the holiday atmosphere during the summer.
This year, jolly old elves from 12 countries -- including an American delegation of Santas with natural beards, not fakes -- made the trip Dyrehavsbakken, an amusement park outside of the Danish capital. Also known as Bakken, it's touted as the world's oldest amusement park, dating back to the 16th Century when it was a public bath.
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"It is great to have this in the summer, because in the winter there is a lot of ice and Santa Claus has a lot of work to do to give out presents. In the summer it is very pleasant," Santa Alexei Gavrilov, of Russia, told Reuters.
The congress includes photo opps like a visit to the reindeer exhibit of a local zoo and a stop by the Little Mermaid statue, a Copenhagen landmark.
The trip is more than a sightseeing junket: Organizers tout the serious matters up for debate such as the standardization of chimney sizes, the official date of Christmas and a potential weight limits for Santa.
Admittance to the congress is selective and limited to "professional Santas," according to the Congress's website. All would-be attendees must apply for an invitation by submitting photos of themselves dresses as Father Christmas