Australian holidays and public holidays include nationwide public holidays and a few other holidays governed by states and territories.
A large part of public holidays take place on a Monday so as to create long weekends. If a public holiday falls on a weekend, an alternative public holiday is sometimes taken (the following Monday for example), whether under public holiday legislation or by proclamation. Australia is sometimes nicknamed “country with long weekends”. However, Australians have fewer holidays than most other industrialized countries.
Parades, fireworks, concerts: great resources are used for Australian National Day. This day marks the arrival of the first British fleet in 1788. Australia Day is infamously known by the Aboriginal people as: the Invasion Day. Australians take advantage of this holiday to indulge in their favorite activity: having a barbecue on the beach. Very patriotic, they proudly display the colors of their country by wearing oversized hats, cape flags and other tricolor tattoos. In Sydney, you will be able to attend the magnificent fireworks display at Darling Harbor.
Chinese New Year
The Asian community is very present in Australia. Chinese New Year is therefore a very important event celebrated in Australian cities with parades, street markets, shows and even fireworks.
This day commemorates the engagement of Australian troops during the First World War, notably the bloody battle of Gallipoli of 1915. Ceremonies are organized all over the country and paper poppies are placed at the war memorials.
Second Monday in June
As Australia is part of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth’s birthday is celebrated on this holiday in Australia.
In Australia, people celebrate Christmas on the beach with a barbecue! And December 26, called Boxing Day, is also a holiday.
The origin of the “box day” goes back to the Middle Ages, when Australians opened the gift box deposited during Christmas mass. In Anglo-Saxon countries, Boxing Day is today synonymous with sales and buying fever.
Australia is one of the first countries in the world to enter the New Year. In addition, like in many countries around the world, parties take place all day and night! Many events are held everywhere, the most famous being the Sydney fireworks, known as the most beautiful on the planet.
No matter what your religion, Easter in Australia is a very popular celebration. Beyond the traditional Easter egg hunt, many new events are organized to brighten up your extended weekend, as often in Australia:
- Hot Cross Buns
Who says Easter in Australia says Hot Cross Buns! What is it about? These are small spiced buns with raisins or chocolate chips, garnished with a kind of sugar cross
- The Bilby
On Easter Day, Bibly chocolate eggs are hidden. In Australia the rabbit shares the spotlight with another less known animal! The goal is to educate young generations about the disappearance of certain species such as the bilby. The Bilby is the star of Easter instead of rabbits.
Canberra Day is a public holiday, it takes place on the second Monday in March, in the Australian Capital Territory, to celebrate the baptism of Canberra, the federal capital of Australia. Canberra officially received its name at a ceremony on March 12, 1913 from Lady Denman, the wife of Governor General Lord Denman. People take the day off this day.
Proclamation Day is a holiday in South Australia, which celebrates the proclamation of the creation of South Australia as a British province. The proclamation was read by Captain John Hindmarsh, in front of the Old Gum Tree at Glenelg, on December 28, 1836. The proclamation provided the same protection by law for the local population and for the settlers. It is now a public holiday in South Australia.