What is the first thing you have on your mind when someone says Christmas? Is it snow? Or maybe drinking tea next to the Christmas tree in your cozy sofa, with some blanket on? Or family dinner, while snowing outside? Probably you can find yourself in some of these guesses.
But, do you know who thinks about the beach, picnic, and surfing Santa? Australian people do. Christmas traditions in Australia are very different from the rest of the world. So let’s visit the northern hemisphere and find out how they celebrate Christmas.
Surfing Santa - surfboard instead of sleds
Traditional Santas that we all know and love, wear red fleece suits, lined with white fur and big black boots to fight the northern winter. But in Australia, Santas need to fight sand from the beach and warm summer sun.
In Australia it’s summer at Christmas time so you’re more likely to see Santa on a surfboard than on a Christmas sled, wearing board shorts. This is not an official tradition by any means, but it became a fun way to celebrate the holiday season, so if you find yourself on a beach on Christmas day, you will probably see early morning surfer with a Santa hat.
Eating shrimp and having a picnic
While in the United States we make roast turkey, baked potato, and other traditional meals, in our warm and decorated home, next to the fireplace, our friends from Australia have a little bit different habits. Most families in Australia will pack up for a picnic in nature or set up folding tables to eat outside in their yard.
The typical dish they prepare are shrimp, and the fun part is that families send someone to do a “shrimp run” in the morning, so they can prepare it after. The shrimp often can be found in local markets, where they put freshest and biggest shrimp for Christmas day.
Eating shrimp for Christmas is one of the most common traditions in Australia, so most seafood stores will be packed on Christmas morning with grumpy parents or bored kids who have been sent on the shrimp run.
Street parties all over the cites
So, we established that it’s summer in December in Australia, and summertime is just the best part of the year for making great parties outdoor. That’s why sometimes on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day you can see people dancing and drinking in their backyard. The Christmas party can move to the beach, which is a whole new dimension of partying at Christmas time.
In general, most people visit relatives on Christmas Day, so the streets are full of families with kids. That’s why we can easily say that Christmas transform a calm neighborhood, in a great and noisy party for every generation.
Day after Christmas is reserved for Boxing Day barbecues and Sales!
In Australia the second day of Christmas is another day of celebration with family. It is another public holiday for most people in Australia, so it’s extra time to relax, soak up the festivities, and for preparing a barbecue with your friends.
So Christmas day is reserved for family, but once the family gatherings are over, Australians usually catch up at friends’ houses on Boxing Day, to watch the Boxing Day Test. This is a great time to drink beer and watch cricket, and to laugh and have fun with your friends.
Organizing a festive road trips
Christmas Day may involve a long family road trip. This is an accidental tradition at best, but a lot of Christmas celebrations in Australia include a drive with the kids jammed together in the back seat, with piles of pillows.
The festive road trip depends on where do you live, cause the main reason why Australian people do it, it’s to tour the coast of Australia. Australians just made it more fun, by calling it a festive road trip, and it puts all members of the family in a vacation mode.
Carols By Candlelight - a noble Christmas tradition
Most cities in Australia host Carols by Candlelight with a few celebrity performers they call ever year. Earnings from this kind of performance are usually donated to a charity. Main Carols By Candlelight is performed in a major city, but other cities also host their own events.
Usually, families pack picnics, blankets, and very much needed mosquito spray, and spend the evening outdoors listening to great music they all enjoy. This is such a heartwarming way to spend the evening with your loved ones.
Christmas lunch in Australian way
While it would appear that most Christmas meals happen at dinner time, in Australia they mostly prepare Christmas lunch. Christmas time in Australia is a whole day event, with a lot of eating, and time spent playing fun Christmas games for kids and those who feel like kids.
In Australia Christmas lunches are relaxed, mostly casual events with a lot of sport activities such as cricket, or a quick splash in the backyard pool.
Wow, these fresh Christmas traditions in Australia, are really different than what we are used to. That’s why it would be fun to take part in such a celebration of one of the greatest holidays!
Don’t forget to bring the festive magic in your home, so choose some of the decoration items and shop now at Schmidt Christmas Market.