Christmas in Australia

How do I wish someone there a Happy Christmas?

  • Merry Christmas!

When do they give presents?

  • Christmas Day

Who brings the presents?

  • Santa Claus

What’s on the menu?

  • Some people go for a traditional Christmas dinner, but al fresco dining is becoming much more popular. That means cold meats and seafood, the latter often cooked on the barbecue. Pavlova is a favourite for pudding and bowls of cherries are always on hand.

Any other traditions I should know about?

  • Many Christmas traditions have been imported from the Northern Hemisphere. That means houses decorated with fake snow, Santas and Christmas trees can look a little surreal in the heat of a Southern Hemisphere summer. If you head to the beach you might even see someone surfing in a Santa hat.
  • The ‘shrimp on the barbie’ image might be a cliché, but Australians got through a massive 45,000 tonnes of prawns over the 2016 festive season.
  • Carols by Candlelight has been taking place on Christmas Eve in Melbourne since 1938. It’s a national institution, attended by thousands of people and broadcast nationwide.
  • The day after Christmas is one of Australia’s big sporting occasions. The famous Boxing Day test starts at Melbourne’s MCG, while the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race also gets underway.