Is Christmas a Public Holiday?
Christmas is observed as a public holiday in Australia. Therefore, most of the public offices, schools, universities, public places etc. remain closed. However, some public places like shopping malls, restaurants, eating places etc. remain functional throughout the day or follow a restricted timeline. Opening and closing time for such businesses can vary. Local and public transport remain accessible throughout the day of Christmas.
Christmas Day falls during the Summer season in Australia. Therefore, children enjoy their summer holidays and make the most of this opportunity to make memories. It means that all schools, colleges, academic institutions and organizations remain closed during this period.
Christmas Day History
Christmas Day history holds high importance for the Christians. On Christmas Day, the holy birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated among Australians with pomp and show. Church services are carried out on this day, and Followers and Catholics attend the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
According to the historical records, the term used for the Christmas tree is known as Pohutukawa. In 1788 when English colonists arrived in Australia, they noticed the difference in temperature and unavailability of several traditional Christmas decorations such as pine trees etc. Hence, seeing things in a different light, they improvised and used Kangaroos and other Australian symbols for Christmas.
The first Christmas celebrated in Australia was in the same year itself, i.e. 1788. Several old Australian classics such as Bush Christmas (1947), Bushfire Moon (Miracle Down Under) etc. can be watched to get a detailed insight about the festival of Christmas and its early history in Australia.
Talking about traditional feasts, Britishers seem to have a major influence on Australian traditions, which is why items such as roast meats, pies, puddings etc, were popular among Australian natives. Recently, cold ham, local seafood such as prawns, shrimps etc., barbecue, cold salads, and drinks have become widely popular.
Christmas Celebrations In Australia
Known to be one of the most popular Holidays 2024, Australians celebrate this festival of joy with great fervour, and make ample use of opportunities to retrieve best memories. Let’s take a look at the way Australians celebrate this day with their loved ones:
- Christmas Day in Australia occurs during the Summers, which is why despite popular cultures, they have their own set of traditions modified.
- Carols by Candlelight is one of the most popular Australian events held countrywide. On this occasion, people gather around with their loved ones, light candles and sing carols. This depicts a beautiful night under the night sky.
- Australians love to surf outside, ride bicycles, conduct a barbecue party popularly known as “Barbie” and swim in the heat. You can see a huge crowd spending their precious time with their loved ones on the beach with a cool breeze on the evening of Christmas Day. One of the popular beaches to celebrate Christmas Day in Australia is Bondi Beach.
- Several families decorate their houses with beautiful lights, flowers such as Christmas Bellflowers, Christmas Bush and Christmas Orchids, evergreen trees and much more. Natural adornments add to the overall beauty of this festival.
- One of the most famous decorations used by people for the Christmas Tree in Australia is Glass Baubles, which are wooden carvings of Australian Wildlife such as Koalas, Kangaroos, Waratah Flowers, Bilbies, images of Santa Claus in beach clothes, and much more.
- While the world devours turkeys and ham, Australians love to gorge on Prawns on the night of Barbeque. They arrange for a night of get-together with their family and friends, and grill prawns on the night of Christmas.
- One of the most popular activities carried out on Christmas Day in Australia is playing Cricket. There’s no age limit, and people celebrate the sense of unity by coming together and playing this sport together.
- One of the traditional events is known as the Boxing Day Test, which is played on the next day of Christmas, that is, 26 December. Known to be a popular and keenly anticipated tradition carried out on Christmas in Australia, this sport is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). On this day, the match is played between any team on an international tour in Australia and Australian Cricket Team.
- The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is organized on the very next day of Christmas in Sydney Harbour. This is known to be one of the world’s most viewed and enjoyed sailing events. Flock of both locals and tourists come together to witness this grand event.
Local Australian Traditions On Christmas
Some Christmas traditions in Australia have their own localized versions that have developed over time. Several Australian authors and songwriters have created their own version of Santa Claus dressed in Australian clothing style with an Akubra hat and riding an Ute pulled by white Kangaroos.
Traditionally, people dressed up like Santa Claus by wearing a fleecy red suit lined with snowy white fur, black boots, and a white beard. However, summer season presides in Australia in the month of December, which is why you can see a summer-y version of Christmas with people dressing up in shorts and dresses, hanging out on beaches, or surfing with their Christmas hats on.
On this occasion, sending Christmas Cards to loved ones is a popular tradition among Australian natives. Adelaide Christmas Pageant is one of the popular traditional events, which consists of over 400,000 people. This parade sees a number of floats, dancers, performers, groups etc, celebrating the festivity to its fullest.
Christmas in Australia: A Summer Symphony
Christmas Day in Australia is celebrated during the Summer season. Now this is an interesting fact about his festival, since the whole world gets covered in a snowy cardigan with people enjoying the chilly weather and sipping hot chocolate.
There is a geographical reason behind Australia celebrating Christmas during summers. As we know, the Earth is divided in two hemispheres, Northern and Southern, whose weather conditions remain opposite from each other. This means Summer presides over the Southern Hemisphere if there’s Winters in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa. On the same note, the Northern Hemisphere undergoes winters during the month of December, which is why Australia, which is located in the Southern Hemisphere, faces Summers in December.
Hence, on the day of Christmas, the average temperature in Australia fluctuates between 36 to 38 degrees. This is why people enjoy going to the beaches and conducting outdoor activities, feasts, concerts, trips, camping etc. on this day.
Christmas Day Observances
|2019||Wed||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
|2020||Fri||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
|2021||Sat||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
|2022||Sun||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
|2023||Mon||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
|2024||Wed||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
|2025||Thu||25 December||Christmas Day||National Holiday, Restricted Trading Day|
1. What do Australians wear at Christmas?
With summer season dominating over Australia, people dress up in shorts and dresses, hang out on beaches, or surf with their Christmas hats on.
2. Why is Christmas in Australia celebrated in summer?
Due to the fragmentation of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun into the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Summer season begins in the month of December in Australia.
3. How does Santa look as per Australian traditional stories and depictions?
According to some Australian traditions, he is described as adorning a bright-colored shirt and riding a sleigh pulled by six kangaroos in white.
4. What is popularly eaten on Christmas in Australia?
Baked Ham, gravy, roasted veggies, cranberry sauce, Trifle, plum pudding, rum balls etc. is eaten on Christmas.
Christmas Day Celebrations in Other Countries
- Christmas Day in the US
- Christmas Day in Canada
- Christmas Day in the UK
- Christmas Day Celebrations Around the World
From the above information, it is evident that the festival of Christmas Day 2024 in Australia is celebrated on December 25, Wednesday. We hope you have liked this article on Christmas Day in Australia. Thank you for being an important part of AstroSage.