Since 1938 "Carols By Candlelight" has been an Australian tradition, which has now spread to other parts of the world in the wake of expat Aussies.
It started in Melbourne - with 10,000 people that first year - and now hundreds of thousands attend gatherings great and small in pretty much every community in the country.
Millions more curl up on the couch on Christmas Eve to watch the annual televised version.
There is rarely a wet weather contingency plan in place
because it's taken as read that the weather will co-operate as we're into Summer here, but there has been an unseasonal [ and gratefully received ] downpour over half the country for the last week.
The local Rotary Club Carols By Candlelight was scheduled for an 8pm start at Victory Park yesterday evening and when we foregathered from 5.30 for choir practice and nibblies, there was some question as to what the weather would do. The skies were grey and leaden and not at all encouraging
would anyone turn up ?
it didn't seem very likely
and right on cue, precisely at 8pm, the heavens opened and a deluge of Biblical proportion ensued
... instead of the Nativity, we were suddenly looking for a bloke named Noah !!
but did the prospect of floating down Barker's Street stop us ?
not on your nellie
... they make 'em tough in Castlemaine
This:is the Thompson Foundry [Brass] Band [ you may need to click for the larger image to really see what's going on ] with three brave carollers at the front. From our vantage point off to the side, we sang along but the sound was so muffled by the rain we just hoped that we were singing the same verse :]