Is Easter Sunday a Public Holiday in Australia?
Easter Sunday is not regarded as a public holiday in all of Australia, however, it is considered a state holiday in three states and one territory, which are NSW or New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory respectively. Special Church services are held on the day of Easter Sunday. In these states, nearly all businesses, retail stores, restaurants remain either closed or open for a limited number of hours. However, other states do not follow sync trading regulations and operate normally.
The Easter Bilby: Australian Version of Easter Bunny
Easter Bunny is known to be the essence of Easter Sunday in most countries all over the world. However, Australians have their own alternative kind for Easter Bunny, which is Easter Bilby. A Bilby is a small marsupial found natively in Australia and has long nose and ears. Listed as one of the endangered species in Australia, Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation, an organization, initiated a campaign to make Bilby as the symbol of Easter in Australia instead of Easter Bunny, since rabbits in Australia are considered as pests and one of the major causes of losses in farming.
This campaign was a huge success, and people started buying Easter Bilby chocolates. The significance of Easter Bilby was even mentioned in the school textbooks. This helped in conserving the species to a great extent.
Easter Sunday Celebrations in Australia
- Easter is celebrated during the autumn season in Australia, whereas other countries in the Northern hemisphere celebrate this festival during springtime.
- Easter Sunday is celebrated as one of the popular Holidays 2020 widely among Australian Christians in different states, and holds both religious and cultural significance.
- A search for Chocolate Easter Eggs brought by Easter Bilby, an Australian version for Easter Bunny, is carried out. There’s no age bar for this activity.
- Easter Eggs are covered in colorful foil papers, edible paint etc. and rested in a bucket for kids and grown ups to look for.
- Major sports events are hosted on this day, such as the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, the Stawell Easter Gift, football games, horse racing events, the Tasmania Three Peaks Race and much more.
- Egg Knocking is one of the famous games played amongst Australians.
- Hot Cross Buns with a Cross on top are widely eaten on this day, and is a traditional delicacy. It is a spiced-sweet bread made with raisins and added spices.
- An Easter meal is shared with relatives, which includes several delicious dishes including roasted vegetables like carrots, beans, potatoes and roasted lamb/beef/chicken.
Easter Traditions In Australia
Easter Sunday history holds great significance for people in Australia. Easter marks the divine resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which is why a set of rituals are followed by Christians all around Australia to celebrate this event. However, Australians have their own traditions and ways to celebrate this day. One of the facts that make Easter Sunday in Australia unique is the weather. It is suggestively Autumn in Australia during Easter Sunday, whereas other countries in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate this day during the Spring season.
The Easter Sunday Celebrations begin with the Shrove Tuesday, and end on Whitsun, thereby stretching up to 50 days. The six-week season of Lent marks the beginning of Easter Sunday, where devotees fast and avoid consuming meat as a part of their meal. The beginning of the Lent is known as Ash Wednesday. After that, Palm Sunday arrives, which occurs one week before Easter Sunday, and marks the beginning of the Holy Week. On this day, Churches carry out the branches of a palm tree or crosses made out from Palm trees in processions and then burn them after the ceremony is finished.
Maundy Thursday falls before Good Friday, and commemorates the Last Supper. On this day, Churches hold special events such as “foot-washing” rites and a special service called Eucharist. After this comes Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his subsequent death. Then comes the Holy Saturday, the day when the dead body of Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb by his followers. This day is observed as the day of remembrance among Christians. At the end arrives Easter Sunday, which marks the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The holy period ends with Easter Monday.
Events on Easter Sunday in Australia
Several regions, cities or states in Australia host events on Easter Sunday, which adds to the festivity and enhances the overall grandeur. Let’s move ahead and know about some:
1. New South Wales
- The Sydney Royal Easter Show stretches for about two weeks and began in the year 1823. This is enabled by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and commemorates the contribution and significance of rural industries across the country. The show consists of an agricultural show, sideshow alley, amusement rides, fair etc.
- The Easter Fair hosts a variety of contests on the day of Easter Sunday such as pie-eating contests etc, live music, an Easter bonnet parade and much more.
- Witness the annual Blessing of the Fleet in Ulladulla, NSW, where several interesting events are organized such as “Naming the Fishermen’s Princess”, spaghetti eating contests and much more.
- The Rip Curl Pro surfing competition is annually held at Bells Beach on Easter Sunday, and is a long-held tradition.
- Easter Saturday Rotary Market – “Magical Easter in Beautiful Bright” is held in the town of Bright, and holds the attention of thousands of tourists during this festive season.
- At Highfields Pioneer Village, Toowoomba, the Easter Vintage Festival brings back the colonial era in Australia and gives the tourist a quick glimpse of how it was back in the time.
- Formerly known as The Australian Gospel Music Festival, the three-day musical event Easterfest proves to be an eye-candy for both locals and tourists visiting Toowoomba, Queensland.
4. Australian Capital Territory
- The National Folk Festival in Canberra serves as an ideal event for families to get together and make the most of the festivity. This festival hosts a big stage for at least 20 artists, holds concerts, workshops and offers a multitude of cuisines to choose from.
Easter Sunday Observances
|2019||Sun||21 April||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
|2020||Sun||12 April||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
|2021||Sun||4 April||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
|2022||Sun||17 April||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
|2023||Sun||9 April||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
|2024||Sun||31 March||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
|2025||Sun||20 April||Easter Sunday||State Holidays, Ovservance|
1. What are the Easter traditions followed in Australia?
Several traditions and rituals are followed during this 50-day celebratory period in Australia such as Pancake Day, Easter shows and much more.
2. Easter celebrations in Australia begin and end on which day?
Shrove Tuesday marks the beginning of the Easter celebrations in Australia, whereas Whitsun marks its end.
3. What do Australians have instead of an Easter bunny?
The Easter Bilby is looked upon as an alternative to the Easter Bunny in Australia.
4. For how long does the Easter Celebrations last in Australia?
Easter celebrations in Australia stretches for about 50 long days.
Easter Sunday Celebrations in Other Countries
From the above information, it is evident that Easter Sunday 2020 in Australia is celebrated on Sunday, 12 April with great fervour and passion. We hope you have liked this article on Easter Sunday in Australia. Thank you for being an important part of AstroSage.