Mix of Festive Events in Australia and New Zealand
As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder in the UK, they know that Christmas is just around the corner. But in our English schools in Australia as well as our English language school in New Zealand, Christmas is in the peak of the summer where Christmas trees and presents are shared in warm, sunny surroundings. There’s even a Christmas in July called Yuletide, where winter approaches down under! Read on for Australia’s festive line-up!
Christmas (25th December)
With Christmas being a mainly summery affair, people in Australia and New Zealand often celebrate Yuletide or “Christmas in July” as well as in December, as this is when they would get their White Christmas! Despite the different climate, their traditions are very similar to that of the UK’s – decorating Christmas trees and giving out Christmas cards. A nice touch is that delivering these will cost less than regular stamps if mentioned on the envelope.
Boxing Day (26th December)
Like the UK and US, Boxing Day in Australia and New Zealand is seen as a shopping holiday with staggering crowds and stampedes in shopping centres, eager to find the latest bargain!
This day also marks the start of the Sydney to Bogart Yacht race, where students of our school in Sydney are able to enjoy different racing yachts of varying classes take part, despite the 1998 disaster where a violent storm claimed the lives of six sailors.
Proclamation Day (28th December)
This is the South Australian public holiday celebrating the proclamation of Captain John Hindmarsh at Glenelg, which included the same law of protection for the native population as the settlers. This was on the 28th December 1836, which is still noted today, celebrating the proclamation of South Australia as a British province. It is a public holiday in South Australia but is no longer a public holiday in the West, being renamed as Labour Day.
Australia Day (26th January)
This is to mark the event when the first fleet arrived from England to Sydney Cove in 1788, which has sparked some controversy with its name and commemoration. Despite this, it’s publicly recognised as an event through every state in Australia. The festivities involve family barbeques, picnics, festivals and fireworks, with harbour races being the focus of attention in Sydney.
Did you know?
When Wikipedia polled about whether Australians thought about the past or future on Australian Day, 44% thought to the past, 41% to the future and 13% to the present, and 2% weren’t sure.
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