4 Australian Christmas traditions you'll love

December 19, 2020

Christmas traditions in Australia are special. They do have many similarities to British, Irish, American and Canadian traditions due to historical reasons. But, a lot is unique. First thing - it’s summer in December in Australia. So, alongside Christmas cards and decorations you’re used to, the summer season here has resulted in the development of some local traditions as a result of the warm weather. 

While people do decorate their houses and gardens with Christmas lights and trees here, you’ll see a lot of things you don’t see every day too. So, let’s go through a couple of real Australian Christmas traditions.

We already wrote about how a real Australian Christmas dinner looks like, alongside with a couple of great recipes you can try out this Christmas, so you already have an image in mind when talking about Aussie Christmas.

Another thing to say is - let’s face it - 2020 has played rough on us with the COVID-19 pandemic, but holidays are the best time to reconnect with our loved ones, especially with the public health situation improving in Australia. With Spotfood, you can organize your family get-togethers virtually or physically. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store, so try it these holidays. It makes party planning simple!

Surfing Santa

Sand shifts silently, the ocean is deep and clear and Santa Claus surfs at Christmas – hmm, something is not quite right here. Or, is it?

Santa is a Christmas icon all over the world and Australia is no different. But Santa in Australia does look a bit different. As you would expect, he does have that summery feel. He gives the reindeers a rest and might use a kangaroo. Also, you’ll rarely see santa in a coat. He changes his clothes for more appropriate, summer rags.

In 2015, a group of Australians made an attempt to break the Guiness World Record for the largest surf lesson. 320 surfers dressed up as Santa Claus gathered on Bondi Beach. Since then, it has become a tradition for people to surf dressed up like Santas at Christmas time. This event attracts a lot of tourists year-by-year and has become a symbol of a real Aussie Christmas.

And if you’re wondering, how will Santa come to Australia this year when all the borders are closed, we’re pleased to inform you that the government has made Mr. Claus an exception. So, brace yourselves, Santa is coming to town.

Carols by Candlelight

According to Wikipedia, Carols by Candlelight is an annual Australian Christmas tradition that originated in southeastern Australia in the 19th century and was popularised in Melbourne in 1938. The tradition has since spread around the world. It involves people gathering, usually outdoors in a park, to sing carols by candlelight, featuring live performances by both national and international celebrities accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

The tradition began in 1937, when Norman Banks, a popular radio presenter, had a thought that people should spend Christmas Eve together, never alone, singing Christmas Carols. According to a newspaper article from 1949, Carols by Candlelight was the first Australian ceremony that has attracted worldwide interest. It has remained popular ‘till this day and Banks is remembered as a man that has started a nation-wide tradition.

Bringing a share plate to a party

Holidays are the part of the year where the calendar is filling up with all sorts of parties and events. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and celebrate. Normally, when organizing events, the host organizes food and beverages. They can prepare the dishes themselves or use an app like Spotfood to organize a get-together.

But, in Australia there’s also a tradition where people are asked to bring a plate along to share! While some people love sharing their creativity and culinary experiences with others, some do not so much. But, it’s a tradition to respect and everyone does it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does make a great conversation starter.

If you get a share plate invitation this year, check out these amazing ideas by Kidspot on original and creative share plates.

Australian Christmas songs

If you assume that people all over the world sing the same tunes for Christmas, you’ll be surprised. With a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius and Santa riding his surfboard, it would be a bit odd if the most popular song in Australia was dashing through the snow. The sun and the summery feel are the inspiration for most of the most popular Australian Christmas songs (and some covers). Try listening to some of these to get a feeling of what Australian Christmas is really like.

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Australian sense of humor is amazing and always surprises with something unusual. While you can recognize some of these tunes, the lyrics are really uniquely Australian.

Boxing day barbecues

Boxing Day is celebrated on the 26th of December. This festivity has its origins in the British Isles and other nations that were a part of the British Empire. Originally this used to be the day for donations and gifts in boxes (hence the name "Boxing Day") to the poorest classes of society, states GoStudy.com.au. Today this is a public holiday when big sportive events are organized, like football, cricket or baseball.

Boxing Day is also known as a shopping holiday. Boxing Day sales are common and shops often allow dramatic price reductions. For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue

And while many love shopping, a lot of people love to enjoy more traditional hangouts and spending time with friends and families, organizing barbecues on the beaches. 

After the feasts of Christmas day, try hosting an easy Boxing day barbecue. This is all about relaxed eating, so prepare easy-to-make dishes and enjoy your time with friends and family. Or simply install the Spotfood app, create your event and leave everything to vendors while you sitback and enjoy the precious time with your loved ones.