The following is a guest post from True Blue Migration.
Your first Christmas spent in Australia after a lifetime of cold, harsh winters can be a welcome change or an odd break from tradition which leaves you feeling a little strange.
The feeling of the sun on your back in December as opposed to the harsh chill biting at your ears and nose is a pleasant but unfamiliar sensation. Still, despite the different weather, at the heart of Australian Christmas celebrations is the desire to spend time with family and friends, to take a break from work and enjoy yourself. Good food, good drink and good times are the order of the day. Certain traditions that you hold close to your heart do not really have to change. If you’re coming over to Australia with loved ones in tow, or to join family and friends, surround yourself with these people at Christmas just as you would in America, the UK, or anywhere else.
We’ve come up with some suggestions of how you could spend your first Christmas down under and what you can do to prepare for the festive period.
- Go to the beach! Millions of Aussies will hit the sand and surf on Christmas Day before sparking up a barbecue full of fresh seafood and meats. This cultural stereotype is very real and can be a fantastic way to spend the day. Embrace the fabulous weather and feel like a true Aussie.
- Go camping! Christmas is in the middle of summer holiday season for Australians, so many of them will pack up and go on holiday. Pick a campsite, load up the car and go and join in the fun. You won’t be alone, and you won’t go hungry as you can guarantee the barbecues will be out in force once again.
- Enjoy the sports. A huge tradition in Australia is the Boxing Day Test Match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While tickets will be like gold dust and hard to come by, why not get a few people round to your house and gather in front of the telly with some leftovers and some cold beers? During the breaks in play you can even experience another local tradition which is backyard cricket. Men, women and children often come together and play in the streets or yards and it’s a great way to meet the neighbours.
- Carols by Candlelight. This is a tradition which really came to prominence in Melbourne in the 1930s. People will gather in outdoor areas such as parks and sing carols into the night, often accompanied by a band. Nowadays, cities hold huge Carols by Candlelight events, selling tickets from which the proceeds go to charities.
So the message is, if you are heading Down Under this Christmas, you should be prepared to embrace the inevitable cultural differences but also be aware that you don’t have to lose the traditional values which make the time of year so special. Families and festivity are at the core of the Australian Christmas, just as they are in other parts of the world.
What are you doing for Christmas?