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Celebrating an Australian Christmas

Special: Celebrating an Australian Christmas

As Christmas carols start ringing through our air once again, we are reminded of what a joyful season Christmas is for many of us.

Christmas in Australia is a nationwide celebration, with its own special flavour given that it occurs during the summer months in the southern hemisphere. To make it unique to our culture, without the reindeers and snow, we have adopted summery Christmas elements and made it our very own.

  1. Climate: Christmas falls in Australia’s summer, when temperatures are often warm and sunny. Christmas is typically celebrated with barbecues, beach picnics, and outdoor activities in Australia, though it is also connected with snow and winter activities in many other areas of the world. Hence, we have Christmas in June/ July, during our colder winter months as well.
  2. Decorative displays: Traditional Christmas décor is used by Australians to adorn their homes and public areas, but you may also notice some unusual touches, such as displays that highlight native Australian plants and animals. Christmas light displays are another popular way for individuals to adorn their homes, and some neighborhoods have contests for the best ones. Christmas lights glow in the streets of Perth and some of the best ones are found here:
  3. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Both these two days hold great importance for festivities. Gatherings of friends and family for holiday feasts and gift-giving are common. A variety of salads, seafood, and roast meats are common dishes served at traditional Christmas meals. Christmas meals and lunches can take place outside as barbeques or indoors.
  4. Santa Claus: Although the character is typically connected with snow and cold weather, the summertime environment in Australia sometimes results in “Surfing Santas” or Santa Claus dressed in board shorts. On Christmas Eve, kids usually lay out goodies for Santa, such milk and cookies.
  5. Carols by Candlelight: A number of cities and towns host outdoor performances of “Carols by Candlelight” in the weeks preceding Christmas. Choirs perform at these events. These events feature choirs singing traditional Christmas carols, often held in parks or other open spaces. Attendees typically hold candles or use electric candles to create a festive atmosphere.
  6. Beach Celebrations: Australians frequently spend Christmas at the beach due to the country’s warm climate. It’s customary for some families to spend a portion of the day swimming, playing sports, having a picnic, or visiting the beach.
  7. Boxing Day: Boxing Day, observed on December 26, is the day following Christmas and is a public holiday in Australia. Boxing Day is a day for lounging, shopping, and occasionally going to sporting events, as big boat races and cricket matches frequently happen on this day. Did we mention SHOPPING? Some of the best sales will be on Boxing Day.

Today, Australia celebrates its cultural diversity, and this is seen over Christmas, being a multicultural and inclusive event because people from all cultural origins contribute their own traditions and customs to the festivities.

In conclusion, Australian Christmas blends customary components with age-old tradition and is widely celebrated in the nation. The best part? Some Australians get to celebrate Christmas twice in a year, once in December and another “Christmas in July”.

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