Nov 25, 2012

Christmas in Australia

  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.


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


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!


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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