Christmas Traditions in Australia

by sami keinanen

Christmas is a big holiday in Australia so if you happen to be here during this time of the year get ready to celebrate! Australia is generally a warm country so, except for the southern regions, don’t expect to see much of the snow drops, fir trees and Christmas carols around the fireplace kind of stuff! However, Christmas traditions in Australia are not entirely different from those in Europe or the United States. But you give you a better idea of what Christmas means in Australia, here are some popular traditions and practices:

The Christmas Picnic

by mike the mountain

As I said before, the days around Christmas tend to be quite hot in Australia, so some people decide to go at the beach or somewhere in nature where they can enjoy a hearty picnic. However, the preferred date of this event is Boxing Day, which is the next day after Christmas and a public holiday in Australia.

Australia has preserved much of the British traditions for Christmas. Many Australians would still celebrate Christmas with their families, around and big and nicely decorated table. The roasted turkey or ham is usually the attraction of the Christmas dinner, and so are traditional puddings and mince pies. However, in the hottest parts of Australia, people might prefer salads and cold snacks –like, from example, cold turkey accompanied by cranberry sauce or apple pie with a side of ice cream.

Carols by Candlelight

Carols are an essential ingredient in creating the Christmas atmosphere.  Just like New Yorkers attend the lighting of the big Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Centre, the citizens of Melbourne and other Australian cities gather around to sing carols. The tradition of Carols by Candlelight is now 74 years old and it first started in Melbourne – people simply go out with a candle in their hands and join the huge chorus outside.

Gifts and the Christmas Bush

by laRuth

Of course, gifts and Santa are the absolute musts on the Christmas Eve. Santa finds it quite difficult to travel to Australia so it chooses to take the snow boat and sail across Lake Macquarie or might be pulled by the six white boomers through the Australian outback instead. People exchange gifts on the Christmas morning, although some of them might do it under the Christmas bush tress instead of the classical fir tree. The Christmas madness starts early in December when people begin shopping for presents and decorating their homes with colored lights and ribbons.

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