Traditions, dishes, gifts… How do we celebrate Christmas in Australia?

Traditions, dishes, gifts... How do we celebrate Christmas in Australia?

Southern Hemisphere obliges, December 25th is hot in Australia! Which doesn’t stop anyone from celebrating Christmas as befits on a mainland island. Decorations, food, events… what are the Australian Christmas traditions?

A secular country (meaning there is no state religion), but with the majority of people identifying with one branch of Christianity, Australia retains the Christian tradition of Christmas, with December 25 being a public holiday. Back to tradition around Christmas.

The “Christmas bush” replaces the Christmas tree

This area of ​​shrubs of the Cunoniaceae family is native to Australia. It is especially appreciated at Christmas time because of the flowers that turn bright red in the summer, that is, just in time for Christmas. Perfect for decorating your interior!

Christmas in Australian Aboriginal culture

Colonized by missionaries and settlers until the 1970s, the Aborigines, somewhat in spite of themselves, celebrated the Christian holiday of Christmas. Today, many Aboriginal communities in Australia gather at Christmas to remember the dead and remember those who have passed away.

“Candlelight Songs”, An Australian tradition rooted in Christmas

The “Songs by candles represent a strong Christmas tradition in Australia. At the end of the 19th century, in South Australia, miners sang Christmas carols by the light of candles attached to their helmets. Since then, Christmas concerts have been held on the evening of December 24. Across the country, Australians gather in parks and public spaces, light candles and sing. In Melbourne, a big annual concert is organized at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. With its thousands of lanterns and voices, the show is magical, transcribed on television.

Songs by candles

Christmas, not Christmas Eve in Australia

The Christmas dinner is not held on the evening of December 24, but on December 25 at noon, around a very festive lunch. Barbecue often replaces traditional roasts or turkeys.

Children open presents in the early hours of the morning, after Santa has passed through the night. Then the day continues on the beach or by the pool on this hot summer day. At Bondi Beach, near Sydney, thousands of people flock every year with Christmas hats, food and surfboards.

The “cracker” Christmas in Australia

A tradition inherited from England, Australians love Christmas crackers. Pulled from each side, little twists contain a joke, a riddle, a trinket, a paper crown, a gift… to the delight of all.

Australian Christmas Crackers

the Boxing dayDecember 26 in Australia

The day after Christmas is also a public holiday in Australia, as well as in England, New Zealand and Canada. When Aussies aren’t shopping or recovering from Christmas, they’re glued to their TVs!

Why? Because one of the most popular sporting events of the year takes place on this day: the Boxing day test match: a friendly match in which the Australian cricket team faces off against another national team. There is also the start of the Sydney-Hobart regatta, in Port Jackson, a very popular event that has been organized since 1945.

regatta from Sydney to Hobar

Yulefest, Australia’s second Christmas

It would be a shame to miss out on celebrating Christmas in the winter, wouldn’t it? This is why many Australians take the opportunity to experience Christmas, “Christmas in July” ! The tradition dates back about 30 years, when young Irish people decided to organize a “traditional” Christmas in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney. The concept is taken over by hotels and restaurants and becomes an independent party called “Julefest”. For this occasion, depending on the region, we watch Christmas movies, sing, open presents and taste delicious turkey.

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