Christmas in Australia

Nov 25, 2012


  Christmas in Australia .



Christmas in Australia is a fabulous time of year! Some of the key words you'll often hear associated with an Aussie Christmas are, "Summer" "School Hols" "BBQ" "Beach" "Beer" "Bubbly" and "Pavs."  

Here I'll go into a bit more detail about what you might expect to see from an Aussie Christmas.
*remembering that Australia is a very multi-cultural country where residents are free to celebrate (or not) in the way that they choose.



Weather


One of the best things about Christmas in Australia is that it is Summertime! It falls in the Summer School Holidays (yay!) and depending on where you live in Australia, can be a very hot day indeed!

The average city in Australia will usually expect temperatures in the mid to high 20's (degrees Celsius) but it can get much higher than that.

Being from Melbourne, where the weather sometimes changes as easily as you'd flick a switch, I've experienced Christmas from a shivering 14C (57F) up to a "its too hot to move" 35C (95F). Basically, it could be anything, haha, but in general, we expect (hope) it to be warm. (January is when it really starts to get hot!)
A wander down to the beach. Christmas Day, 2009



Traditions


Because the weather is generally good, it's a bit of an Aussie tradition to eat Christmas Lunch outside followed by some backyard cricket or a dip in the pool.


Like other places around the world, Australians traditionally celebrate Christmas with their family and friends on December 25th which is a Public Holiday.


We've recently discovered that most of our US readers haven't heard of Christmas Crackers (or Bon Bons as they're sometimes referred to in Australia). These aren't particular just to Australia but most Aussie's I know have Christmas Crackers at Christmas Time. :)




Most families have a Christmas Tree that they decorate and many houses and gardens are also decorated with fairy lights, fake Santas and all the rest!


On Christmas Day it is traditional to give and receive presents. From parents, friends, family and Santa too. (Yes, he makes it to Australia too!)



My favourite Christmas Tradition in Australia is Carols by Candlelight. It was made popular in the 1930s in my hometown, Melbourne and has since spread across the world!
This year will be Vision Australia's 75th Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne and Christmas Eve wouldn't be Christmas Eve, without it!
Picture Source
The most famous concert is held annually at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl (pictured above) in Melbourne, where tens of thousands of people gather together to sing Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve.
In addition to this televised event, communities and cities all around Australia hold their own Carols by Candlelight in parks, schools and venues across the country over the month of December leading up to Christmas.
It's a fabulous community event and almost always takes place, rain, hail or shine :) Expect to see picnic rugs, lawn chairs, lots of kids, Santa hats, glowing things and candles.


Other Aussie Christmas Traditions can include:

Christmas Lights - some houses, streets, areas etc. are so transformed by the wonder of their Christmas lights that they become local tourist destinations. Many people take their families out for an evening drive leading up to Christmas to see all the lights. Some streets are now so well regarded for their Christmas lights displays, that roads are blocked off to allow only foot traffic through. It is wonderful and magical.

Boxing Day - ok, not quite Christmas but it's synonymous with Christmas here. Boxing Day is the public holiday after Christmas (26th Dec) and is huge for two reasons.
Firstly, the shopping! Boxing Day sales are regarded among some of the best sales of the year so the shops are PACKED!
Secondly, for sports. The Boxing Day Test is the first day of the Cricket test match that most Aussies will at the very least have going on in the background on TV.

"Christmas Drinks" - work drinks, friends drinks, family drinks... yes, lots of drinking! Usually wine, sparkling wine or beer. (or whatever's on offer) :)

Foods - see below!



Food


In Australia, the EATING part of Christmas is a pretty major one :) Many families settle down for a huge Christmas "Dinner" which is usually around midday (Christmas Lunch). This could be a traditional sit-down carve-it-up turkey or ham or the "Aussie" way of the cold ham, BBQ and salads. Seafood (especially prawns and shrimps) is also very common at an Aussie Christmas.

Buffet style barbecued meats served with a range of salads are a common Aussie Christmas Lunch




Talking about Traditions, I can't not mention the Pavlova. Whilst plum pudding and brandy custard are also enjoyed by Australians, many homes would not be without a favourite Australian dish, Pavlova (meringue covered with cream and fresh fruit). One Perfect Day have a fabulous Pavlova Recipe.




Summer fruits like berries and cherries are plentiful. As are all the summer stone fruits (Peaches, mangos, apricots etc).


The other year I did my own little version of a "plum pudding"
My individual sticky date puddings (baked in cupcake wrappers) with a butterscotch butter-cream icing, hand made sugar snow flakes and a sprinkling of silver edible glitter



Check out this great post from My Little Bookcase on making these yummy Lamington Wombats and Koalas as a special Snack for Santa



Australian Christmas Links



Here are some gorgeous Australian Wildlife Candy Cane Clingers from Mother Natured











A Favourite Australian Christmas Story from My Little Bookcase


An Aussie Christmas Tree Hunt and Bush BBQ from Happy Whimsical Hearts




What comes to mind when you think of Christmas in Australia?



From us to you...where ever in the world you may be... 

 ...have a very Merry Christmas. 

Stay safe, look after one another.

Merry Christmas,
Debs :)





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41 comments:

  1. How cool. So interesting to think about Christmas being a backyard bbq/pool day!! Love hearing about you traditions.
    Beth :)

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  2. Thanks for the great post! Can you explain why people are wearing crowns in one of the photos? Thanks!

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    1. Ahh, they are paper crowns that are usually in bonbons (or Christmas Crackers). You pull them apart and usually get a paper crown, a joke and a little novelty gift. Are they not in other parts of the world? :D

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  3. Did a double take when I saw this post on Triberr - I live on the Sunshine Coast but work for US company. Great post :)

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    1. Oh cool! I certainly didn't know you were in Australia :D

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  4. Great post Debs....got me all excited about Christmas...and food...and cold white wine...and the need to get the tree up!!!Love those pics of the kids and you too :)

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    1. Cheers Jode. Got me looking forward to Christmas too. I couldn't mention an Aussie Christmas without talking about the drinks, haha. Sounds like my kind of Christmas :D

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  5. i loved reading this Debs! So interesting to read about a part of the world that celebrates when it's WARM! So freezing here right now that I envy those pics! :) your plum pudding looks fabulous and SO amazing that you made those snow flakes!

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    1. Thank you! I loved reading yours too :) Sometimes it's easy to get so caught up in your own Christmas that it's fabulous to stop and take a look at what else the rest of the world is doing too. And feel blessed we live in such lucky countries. (PS-It's just rolled icing cut out with snow flake cutters. Nothing too complex haha)

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  6. What a wonderful review of Christmas in Australia. I love eating outdoors and devouring delicious summer fruits.

    Thanks for featuring our Aussie Santa snacks.

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    1. Thanks Jackie, and you're more than welcome. I love the Aussie twist on the old milk and cookies! :)

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  7. I always love to see my brother's pictures of them all on the beach on Chrsitmas day! Such a fun yet completely opposite experience to what we are doing! Love this post.

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    1. It's quite the contrast to some Christmas' that's for sure :D You will have to visit your brother over a Christmas period one year for sure! :)

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  8. A brilliant post on all things Aussie Christmas! I loved reading it and it's really made me feel even more excited about Dec 1st (when we all start the decorations). The pics of your kiddies are my fave. They just look so happy and festive!

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    1. oh, thanks Penny! And thanks for letting me include your awesome links :)

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  9. I love seeing all the Aussie Christmas bits and pieces! It makes such a lovely change to the usual snowy pictures and hot foods. My daughter was recently very put out to find out that we won't have snow at Christmas time :) She doesn't remember her first two Christmases.

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    1. I was surprised to not find a lot on Christmas in Australia on the web really.. (well, relatively). I wouldn't say no to snow though. At least 1 year, that'd be so cooL!

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  10. Thanks for this glimpse into an Australian Christmas. I am loving this series. You have included a lot of great resources.

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  11. Great post! I think we've ticked all of those boxes in my family, at one time or another.
    This year it will be prawns by the pool :)
    I LOVE your sticky date cupcakes. YUM!

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    1. If only I had a pool. I have a spa though so I think a relax in there will be called for :D

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  12. Thanks for the great post! My daughter (5.5yo) was astonished to hear that your Christmas is in the Summer. Although, really, our winters are not usually that cold. We live in Florida, USA :) I wasn't familiar with the christmas crackers either btw. Thanks Again:)

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    1. You're welcome.. looks like i've learnt something new too as for some reason I thought christmas crackers were a worldwide thing...? Must not be, Perhaps I should include a proper pic of them. haha. Thanks :)

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  13. Love that last photo of you! Gorgeous!!

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  14. We went to Carols in the Domain last year and although it was hotter than the dickens it was a wonderful and very memorable way to partake in the Aussie Christmas. Great post with lots of good stuff- brings back some good memories for me. Looking forward to a white Christmas this year-- hopefully!

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  15. A good summary of our Aussie (and Melbourne!) Christmas celebrations :) Too much food, lots of drinks, warmth, lights and being with family and friends - covers it nicely really!

    I love the look of those alternative Christmas puddings, too - yum!

    Wow, I thought the paper hats in bonbons was wide spread, too - fascintating to know it is an Aussie thing :)

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  16. Fabulous post Debs....it has got me so excited about christmas now! It is so wonderful to see the differences we have here such as the bonbons. We love our Bonbons too, the silly joke, tacky toy and paper hat, hehe! I must say it is the best time of the year for fruit, berries, cherries, mangos, grapes and so much more served with a piece of pav! Yum! :)

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  17. Looks like the perfect Christmas to me :D Mum's getting us a new BBQ for Chrissy so we are hosting this year. It's my first time. I'm really looking forward to it.

    Kate

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  18. Although I now live in Australia I still follow my Spanish background where we have our Christmas main meal on the 24 th which means a very relaxing day on the 25th x

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  19. Great post showcasing how we Aussies celebrate Christmas :-) We also love the carols by candlelight. And thanks for sharing a link to our tree hunt!!

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  20. Thank you for sharing! We've enjoyed reading your post and see the pictures. Your family pictures remind us of our Christmas last year when we had a new little one. Thank you!

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  21. Very interesting-I've always wondered what it would be like to have Christmas on the beach! SO many Americans think it's not Christmas without snow and when they things like that, I always wonder how weird that would sound to people who live on the other side of the equator!

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  22. We learned about Australia today (we are a bit behind). The kids love the idea of Christmas on the beach. When I visited Australia for real in 1998 I fell in love with Pavlova. Love your post!

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  23. Wow, those strawberries in the first pic look so delicious. What great traditions your family shares. Thanks so much for sharing! We homeschool and blog at http://something2offer.com

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  24. Oh, this was so interesting being in cold, cold Minnesota. I wonder (wish) how Christmas would be in a warm climate. What a beautiful family you have! Your photos are stunning. Thank you for the inside information, too. Carolyn

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  25. You have captured Christmas is Australia so perfectly! The photo of your littles ones at the end is just adorable. Thanks for including my pavlova recipe!

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  26. Thank you for sharing. It is fun to think that all over the world we are celebrating a very special day together! Peacefully and with love united! Jody

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.