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Christmas in Australia 2023

Date Posted:28 November 2023 

Christmas is a cultural and religious celebration held every year in Australia (and many other countries). This year, Christmas Day falls on Monday, the 25th of December, 2023.

Christmas is a time for sharing the table with your nearest and dearest family members, bonding with friends, and giving generous gifts to those you hold closest. If you're looking for gift hampers, The Hamper Emporium has a gorgeous selection that you can browse using these pages:

Alternatively, if you're looking to learn more about Christmas, keep reading. We'll answer the most popular questions about Christmas in Australia.

FAQs about celebrating Christmas in Australia

Australia has its own unique customs and traditions for Christmas. In this section, we'll dive into those customs and answer the most common questions about Christmas in Australia.

How is Christmas celebrated and observed in Australia?

Christmas in Australia is celebrated over three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Christmas Eve is a more casual day of celebrations. People get last-minute Christmas shopping done, meet up with friends and family members, and get ready for the arrival of Santa Claus.

Festive cheer is at its highest on Christmas Day. The day starts with opening gifts with family members. In most families, the biggest Christmas celebration is held at lunch. Lunch often consists of a range of traditional and modern dishes. After lunch, people enjoy Christmas pudding or pavlova.

Boxing Day is a day for getting some post-Christmas deals, having a picnic in the park, going to the beach, and enjoying some Christmas leftovers.

What are some Christmas traditions in Australia?

Here are some Christmas traditions in Australia:

  • Putting up a Christmas tree and decorating it with lights, baubles, and ornaments
  • Putting up decorations like fairy lights
  • Hanging a wreath on the front door
  • Driving around and looking at fairy lights throughout the month of December 
  • Going to local Christmas events
  • Celebrating Gravy Day on the 21st (a tradition that came about from the Paul Kelly song 'How To Make Gravy')

Can you give me five fun facts about Christmas in Australia?

Sure, here are five fun facts about Christmas in Australia:

  1. Many Aussies prefer fresh prawns to a roast turkey.
  2. In Australia, Santa ditches his reindeer for kangaroos and his warm winter clothes for board shorts.
  3. Australia has many Christmas songs about the fact that it's warm on Christmas Day – the most popular of these is 'Six White Boomers' by Rolf Harris.
  4. Pavlova is a very common dessert on Christmas Day – sometimes, it even replaces Christmas pudding.
  5. Many Aussies go to the beach, play in the pool, or go for summer walks on Christmas Day instead of more traditional activities like building snowmen and tobogganing.

What month is Christmas celebrated in Australia?

In Australia, Christmas is celebrated in the month of December – just like everywhere else. As Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the festive season occurs during the summer. While our neighbours in the Northern Hemisphere enjoy making snowmen, drinking hot chocolate, and curling up by the fire, Aussies go to the beach (Bondi Beach is always packed around Christmas), play cricket, and soak up the summer sunshine.

What is the history of Christmas in Australia?

Australian Christmas, as we know it today, started in the 19th century, though early British settlers have celebrated Christmas since arriving here. The cultural elements of Christmas in Australia have developed as they were adopted by other countries. For example, Santa Claus in Australia wears a different outfit and doesn't use reindeer. He also drinks beer.

What are some common Christmas foods in Australia?

Christmas celebrations in Australia involve foods like:

  • Cold roast ham and turkey
  • Prawns and oysters
  • BBQ sausages and burgers
  • Fresh cherries
  • Trifle
  • Pavlova
  • Chocolate ripple cake
  • White Christmas
  • Chocolate Hedgehog
  • Christmas pudding ice cream

What are some popular Christmas events in Australia?

Here are some popular events in some states and territories:

New South Wales

  • Carols in the Domain
  • The Rocks Christmas Markets
  • Noël Sydney in the Royal Botanic Garden
  • Darling Harbour Christmas

Victoria

  • Carols by Candlelight
  • Christmas Square (at Federation Square)
  • Sovereign Hill: Experience the Lights

Queensland

  • Christmas decorations at King George Square

Tasmania

  • Myer Hobart Christmas Pageant
  • Hello Christmas, Hello Hobart window displays

South Australia

  • Adelaide Christmas Pageant
  • Adelaide Christmas Festival at Victoria Square

Western Australia

  • Perth Christmas Pageant
  • Christmas Lights Trail
  • Burswood Christmas Carols & Market

ACT

  • Christmas decorations at City Walk

What kinds of gifts do people give each other on Christmas in Australia?

In Australia, gift-giving is a huge part of Christmas. It's common for kids to receive toys, books, and clothes. Adults typically receive chocolate, alcohol, items related to their hobbies, gadgets and electronic devices, self-care gifts, and books. As Christmas in Australia occurs during the summer months, many gifts are also themed around the summer holidays.

Do Australians get a public holiday on Christmas Day?

Yes, Australians get a public holiday on Christmas Day. Boxing Day is also a public holiday. Australians actually get four public holidays across the summer holiday season: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, and Australia Day.

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