Beautiful decorations and holiday anthems fill the warm summer air and although the temperatures are rising in the heat of summer, Down Under we are preparing our hearts for Christmas. While it may seem unimaginable to think of Christmas without snow, we Aussies just wouldn’t have it any other way.
Christmas day activities often include heading outdoors to soak up some sun and sand at the beach, swimming, a game of cricket or gathering with mates to slip a shrimp on the “barbie” (barbeque).
If you’re feeling like a “kook” (a beginner surfer) head down to Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most famous and well-known beaches, where up to 40,000 people visit on Christmas day. Even Santa is known to shed his suit and ride the surf dressed in only his swimmers (swimsuit).
For a tradition rich in history, don’t miss Melbourne’s Carols by Candlelight, a Christmas Eve gathering, held at the Myer Music Bowl. Set outdoors Aussies gather, their blankets spread out on the ground, to light candles and sing Christmas carols, some traditional and some with an Aussie flair. Started in Melbourne, Australia in 1937 by radio announcer, Norman Banks, to relieve the loneliness and isolation sometimes felt during the holidays, this annual event has grown from a handful of attendees to a live broadcast that reaches Eastern Asia, many Pacific Islands and New Zealand.
When it’s time for Christmas dinner many still gather around the family table to enjoy traditional meals of roast pork, cold ham off the bone, an abundance of seafood, plum pudding, fruit mince pies and rich Christmas cake. Many also venture outdoors to join mates for a picnic in the bush or at the beach.
It’s not too late to break out the passports and sunscreen and join us Down Under where we celebrate Christmas in a tropical paradise.