Christmas in Australia
December 17, 2010
The Christmas season is upon us. The Plaza lights have been lit, Longview's Christmas in the Park has started, and many other lighting ceremonies are happening. I often wonder how other countries celebrate Christmas, especially Australia.
It is summer South of the Equator, so it is very warm, often over 100 degrees this time of year. Australians are able to head to the beach or go camping. They are often surfing on Christmas Day at Bondi Beach near Sydney, where Santa Claus will show up on a surfboard or lifesaving boat. Christmas shopping is often done in shorts and t-shirts. Many Australians have Christmas Bushes, a native plant with little red flowered leaves.
Even with the heat, many traditions are still the same. They have Christmas cards, trees, and gifts. They also have the big Christmas dinners that include turkey, ham or pork. Dessert includes Christmas pudding or mince pies. One tradition that came from the gold rush days of Australia is putting a piece of gold nugget in the Christmas pudding. A small piece of gold nugget is cooked inside even today.
Australia and many other former British colonies celebrate Boxing Day on December 26. This day was used to give money and gifts for those who are needy or in service positions. Typically, people would give goods and money in boxes, thus giving it the name Boxing Day. This tradition started in the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. This day is also one of the biggest shopping days for the former British colonies where retailers have great sales deals. This day is like the United States Black Friday.
If you wish to know more about Australia’s Christmas, check out the book Christmas in Australia. You can also find information about Australia in our electronic databases.