What’s It Like Celebrating Christmas in Australia

My kids always love learning about holidays around the world. In this article we head down under to see how they celebrate Christmas in Australia. I’m excited to have Paula from Contented Traveller sharing the Australian Christmas traditions with us.

Christmas in Australia

Christmas in Australia

Christmas in Australia is a little different in the Southern Hemisphere as here it is summer. Schools have closed for the 6 weeks of summer holidays, and many people take time off work to take advantage of the public holidays.

The day after Christmas Day is Boxing Day, which is a public holiday, and then a week later it is New Years Eve and then New Years Day, another public holiday. Suffice to say that everyone is in the Christmas spirit with so many days off work, the kids finished their school year, and it is summer.

People start putting their Christmas trees and decorations up at the beginning of December.

Australia Christmas Decorations
Photo credit: Paula McInerney

Christmas Eve in Australia

Christmas Eve can be celebrated many ways though a very popular choice is the Carols by Candlelight that are held in all state cities as well as smaller towns all over the country. It is also popular to have a party with friends and family, many who have had to come long distances to share Christmas together.

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What Happens on Christmas Day in Australia

Christmas Day can be extremely hot since it is summer in Australia. Those who are Christians tend to go to Church either at Midnight Christmas Eve or early on Christmas morning.

Because Australia is very multicultural, there is not really a typical Christmas Day lunch anymore. However, many people of British or Irish heritage, which mostly means that they come from convict stock, still have the entire British roast dinner. I know as we were of Irish descent we used to do the big cooked lunch, even if we were cooking in 40-degree heat. We eventually changed to something more suitable to the climate, and last year made Lebanese platters, which suits a lot of people and is also more weather friendly.

Christmas dishes

Another favourite Christmas dinner in Australia is seafood as it is the perfect thing to have on a hot summer day. Many people go to the beach after lunch, because it is hot and stay for a BBQ at the beach with family.

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Due to the nature of the weather, it is also a tricky time in Australia with many bushfires starting over this holiday period.

Boxing Day in Australia

On Boxing Day, most people go and visit their friends and often have barbecues at the beach, or recovery parties. This is also a very popular day for shopping with the Boxing Day Sales. Boxing Day is also the day that the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starts, and this draws huge crowds to Sydney.

Gorgeous weather for Christmas

Week Between Christmas and New Year in Australia

Many people go camping to celebrate having time off, or just spend it as the beach. It is different to a white and cold Christmas, but it is Christmas in Australia. Paula and Gordon of Contented Traveller will be experiencing their 1st cold and hopefully white Christmas this year.

Has Paula convinced you to spend the holidays in Australia? I’m ready to go!

Check out our other posts on Holiday Celebrations Around the World: JapanSweden, London, Ethiopia, Mexico, Germany, and India.

About the author: Paula and Gordon of Contented Traveller are Destination and Experience Marketers. Award Winning Professional Travel Writers, who  love experiencing a country, city or place by connecting to its history, people and culture. 

Christmas in Australia- Kids Are A Trip