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The common depiction of Christmas celebrations in the media is the one that is associated with winter and snowy holidays. That is why it is called the “White Christmas”. Therefore, you will find winter-themed decorations and traditions common during this holiday.
In other parts of the world where snow doesn’t really fall in December, the tradition can be a bit different. Australian Christmas traditions can be a lot different than those commonly found in European countries. Here are 7 unique Christmas traditions that will make your visit to Australia more exciting.
Leaving Out Beer for Santa
In other parts of the world that snow during Christmas, Santa rides in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and comes down the chimney. In Australia, however, Santa sneaks in through the veranda.
That is one of many things here. Usually, the family will leave cookies and milk for Santa. In Australia, they leave the beer for the jolly Santa.
Barbeques and Picnics
Instead of the traditional roast lunch or dinner, barbeque is a common tradition during the holiday season in Australia. Families usually prepare an outdoor barbeque in their backyard as part of their Christmas celebrations. Sometimes, people also gather at the beach or local parks to have a nice barbeque for their Christmas lunch.
Singing by Candlelight
People in Australia gather in a park and sing Christmas Carols together every Christmas Eve. Singers and orchestra will perform singing carols while holding candles, which is why this joyful tradition is called carols by candlelight.
In this event, people will gather funds from tickets, donations, or candle sales which are then donated to a cause, such as Vision Australia, an organization dedicated to people with impaired vision.
Play Cricket with Family
Cricket is a popular sport in Australia and is not only played by professionals. Many Australian families also enjoy playing this game to bond with their families and friends. That is why playing cricket has become one of the Christmas traditions in Australia when families spend their time together enjoying the holiday.
Celebrate on the Beach
If you are used to a white Christmas, celebrating this holiday at the beach might sound strange. However, that is how the Australian Christmas tradition is. Bondi beach is more than just a popular destination for spending your holiday. In fact, thousands of people visit this beach every year to celebrate Christmas.
People will still wear bathing suits for this beach day. However, some may dress up as Santa to match the Christmas theme. So, don’t be too surprised when you see shorts-wearing Santa riding the waves on his surfboard!
Decorate Their Homes and Gardens
Just like in other countries, decoration is a huge part of the Christmas celebration. Inside the house, the family usually put up a real or artificial Christmas tree with ornaments, tinsel, and candy canes as decorations. Presents are usually placed under the tree a few weeks before Christmas day.
Other parts of the house are also decorated with ornaments and Christmas stockings. These are usually filled with treats and small gifts for children.
The outside part of the house is also decorated with all kinds of ornaments. Garland is hung on the door, and colorful lights and inflatables are placed on the front porch and garden.
Public places such as malls, hotels, restaurants, and other venues are also decorated in Christmas themes. A big Christmas tree is placed in the public area to increase the festive theme. Sometimes, the decorations are already put up months before Christmas.
Christmas Street Party
Summer is always a perfect season to party and enjoys relaxing summer nights. With Christmas coming, you have more reasons to enjoy the night outdoors. Christmas street parties are common Australian traditions during this time. Hundreds of people will gather on the street and enjoy the company of their neighbors.
These seven Australian Christmas traditions may sound strange if you are used to white Christmas. However, these traditions are certainly not less fun! If you are visiting Australia at Christmas, then make sure to try at least 1 or 2 of these traditions. Enjoy your Christmas in Australia with the local hospitality!