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Have you ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated in Australia? Well, you’re about to find out.
When is Christmas in Australia?
Although Christmas in Australia shares the same day with the U.S., it does not share the same season. You know, being on the other side of the world and all.
Subsequently, while people in the U.S. are in the midst of winter, Australia is caught up in summer. So, Christmas in Australia is celebrated over summer break.
Though the whole Christmas season for Australia is different, the date of Christmas is December 25.
Australian Christmas Traditions
One very important Australian Christmas tradition is called “Carols by Candlelight”. Carols by Candlelight is celebrated on December 24, Christmas Eve. This tradition was started by a radio announcer, Norman Banks, in 1938.
As the story goes, Banks was wandering through the streets of the city one evening. Up ahead, he saw an old woman in a window. The scene was lit with candlelight, the woman crooning along to carols that were playing through a radio.
This moment warmed Banks’ heart, so he tried to start a Christmas caroling tradition for people who were alone on Christmas Eve. Next year, Banks organized an event called “Carols by Candlelight” where participants held candles whilst caroling.
The tradition grew and grew, soon reaching bigger cities like Melbourne. Every year, thousands of Australians come to celebrate this important tradition, usually in a large amphitheater. Australian carols like “Six White Boomers”, “The Melbourne Carol”, and many others are sung.
Also, Australian children have their version of a stocking, which is very similar to America’s. Children hang a pillowcase on the end of their bed, which is filled with presents on Christmas morning!
Christmas Decor in Australia
Yes, just like in America, Australia puts up decorations for the Christmas season.
Also, Australians decorate with two local plants, the Christmas bell and the Christmas bush.
The Christmas bell has glossy, green leaves and colorful bell shaped flowers. Christmas bushes are grown in the spring and summer and contain white-star shaped flowers.
Also, wreaths are a popular Christmas decoration in Australia. Wreaths in Australia truly capture the summer spirit, decorated with eucalyptus leaves and seashells.
Houses, businesses, schools, and many other places in Australia decorate for the holiday season.
Other Australian Holidays
Although Christmas is perhaps the most celebrated holiday in Australia, there are many other important holidays. Some of these include Boxing Day, Hanukkah, and Ramadan.
On December 26, Boxing day is celebrated in Australia. Boxing Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in December in Australia!
On Boxing Day, the Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race is in place. Also, the opening day for cricket is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Religious groups are also extremely diverse. Jewish citizens in Australia celebrate Hanukkah sometime in December. Also, the Muslim holiday Ramadan is celebrated in December.
Over the years, many people from Hong-Kong have immigrated to Australia. On December 27, they celebrate Ta Chiu, in which they thank their deities and ancestors for protection and for their lives to be renewed.
Christmas Dinner in Australia
Australians have come up with many Christmas dishes of their own, some reflecting Australia’s colonial history. One dish is “colonial goose”, which is a roasted goose. Never tried that one before!!
Also, “Billy Can Pudding” is a famous treat for Christmas in Australia. It’s a simplified version of plum pudding and made in a tin tub.
Additionally, some other Australian Christmas meals include “Christmas damper”, which is Christmas bread, and “Father’s Christmas salad”, a colorful salad with a variety of foods inside.
Many Australians eat outdoors to enjoy the summer sunshine. Some may have a picnic or barbecue out in the front yard or on the beach.
On the other hand, some just stay inside for the holiday dinner and cook cold meals. They might have different types of salads and meat, and the classic Australian Christmas dinner is finished off with pudding.
Christmas doesn’t have rules. It doesn’t have to be cold, celebrate a religion, or require your home to be decked in red and green. Above all, Christmas is about what you make it.
There are no right or wrongs- actually, don’t quote me on that. Getting your jugular SHREDDED by Krampus? Objectively, that’s in bad taste. Swapping out a traditional tree with a coat hanger and some paper snowflakes? Go for it, bro, I think Krampus will let it slide.