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Christmas Down Under: 6 Unique Australian Traditions
17 Dec 2021
Written by Y Suites

Christmas Down Under: 6 Unique Australian Traditions

Christmas Down Under: 6 Unique Australian Traditions

Think of Christmas, and things like snow, gift-giving, and carol-singing might come to mind. Well, snow aside, those traditions do remain a part of Christmas traditions in Australia. However, the continent has its own fascinating array of unique traditions as they celebrate the holiday in the warm, sunny days of summer.

While many international university students opt to return home during December break, staying in Australia over Christmas day can be a wonderful experience. Without further ado, here are some of the interesting things Australians love to do during Christmas

 1. Prawns & Barbeques Galore

Shrimp on the barbie might be a cliché Australian slang, but it becomes a reality during the festive season! Though classic dishes like roast turkey, baked ham and mash potatoes are still common, Christmas in Australia simply isn’t complete without a heaping plate of prawns, preferably cooked on the quintessential barbeque.

2. Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight is an annual Christmas event in Australia filled with carol singing and performances, with roots that can be traced all the way back to 1938. State capital cities would host large-scale events in public parks and gardens where people gather to sing carols and watch celebrity performances. 

These carol services are often broadcast on TV across the country, with smaller festivals and parades held by local communities. The iconic celebration also serves as a fundraiser to light up the lives of children who are blind or have low vision.

So, if you’re in Australia over the holidays, this is definitely a memorable event you don’t want to miss!

3. A Day at the Beach

Australians love their beaches, and with the warm sunny weather in December, there’s truly no better time for a beach day out than the Christmas holidays. You’ll find many families flocking to beaches for a relaxing day out, not to mention the occasional appearance of Santa Claus himself for Santa-on-the-beach photo ops!

4. Crack Open a Cold One for Santa

Speaking of Santa, while Santas around the world are commonly greeted with a glass of milk and cookies, things are a little different down under. Since December is summertime in Australia, locals often replace the milk with a cold beer instead, helping Santa cool off as he delivers gifts amidst the sweltering heat!

5. A Dazzling Display of Lights

Fairy lights around the tree? Nah, Australians can get pretty hardcore about their Christmas lights and decorations! People love decking their homes and gardens with eye-catching decorations, leading to a magical display mixed with a bit of friendly competition on who has the best decorations in the street. There are even websites like Christmas Light Search where you can explore Christmas lights in your area and vote for which you think is best! 

If you’re around during Christmas, head on out of your student apartment and pay a visit to one of these dazzling streets to soak in the festive atmosphere! Meanwhile, you can always put up a few decorations of your own to make your university accommodation feel cosier and more comfy than ever.

6. Boxing Day Test

Don’t let the “test” mislead you; this isn’t an examination! Once the Christmas day festivities are over, Australians gear up for the traditional Boxing Day Test on 26 December — a highly anticipated cricket Test match played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). 

In pre-covid days (and hopefully once again after the pandemic is over!), hundreds of thousands of cricket fans would head to the MCG to catch the game, with bars and backyards across the country packed with people watching the match live on TV.

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