The best way to spread Christmas cheer is not just singing loud for all to hear. A zoo in Japan has been dressing their penguins in Santa garb for their daily walk for a number of years.
Christmas Cheer Spread by Strolling Penguins
Matsue Vogel Park in Shimane Prefecture, which is located in the Chugoku region on the main Honshu island in Japan, holds a daily penguin stroll throughout the year, but during the Christmas season it becomes a festive parade of sorts. The naturally delightful creatures are dressed in red Santa Claus-esque robes for their daily walk as parkgoers enjoy the scene.
These birds without feathers give the polar bears and even Santa’s elves competition for the most adorable thing of the season.
Matsue Vogel Park is a beautiful place with carefully planned architecture, friendly wildlife, and flowers in bloom year round. Vistiors are granted the opportunity to walk alongside the penguins every day.
During the holidays, zoo officals up the anti by dressing their penguins in red cloaks with a fur trim complete with green and gold accent ribbon.
Don’t forget the bells, though. It’s not Christmas without bells ringing, so park officials also attach jingle bells to the red coats, producing a cheerful jingle bell noise as the penguins waddle through the park.
Football Fans in Addition to Santa
The festivities of dressing up penguins is not reserved for Christmas, however. During the World Cup, these penguins wore Japanese jerseys to support the hometown football club.
PETA Asia Cites Zoo for Animal Cruelty
Not everyone loves the festive birds. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Asia released a story in 2016 citing concerns over the treatment of the flightless birds. The article even goes as far as calling the zoo a vile facility as they’ve subjected the birds to animal cruelty since 2009.
Viral Videos of Festive Birds
The general consesus is that these friendly penguins bring a spirit of joy and fun to the holidays.
Unfortunately, it is not in the cards for many folks to travel to Japan for Christmas. Fortunately we live in a modern technological age complete with viral YouTube videos and social media.
These technological advances allow for the sharing of this festive fun across multiple continents. Check out this video of the Santa plaid penguins on one of their daily strolls through Matsue Vogel Park.
Shimane Prefecture Tourism
The Shimane Prefecture not only features the zoo, but also numerous tourist attractions such as the Matsue Castle, Aquas Aquarium and multiple art museums. In addition to these, Mt. Sanbe is a popular attraction in the region. Mt. Sanbe is part of Daisen-Oki National Park and is the main peak in a range of volcanic mountains, boasting natural hot springs and the mining site of a third of the world’s silver.
Find Joy Amidst Holiday Hustle
The next time you’re feeling down about the holiday to do list or stressed by the hustle and bustle of the season, be sure to remember the Christmas penguins of Japan. They will surely bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.