Dear Australia, It’s Okay to Celebrate Halloween

It’s my third Halloween in Australia. It’s not a popular holiday here, but according to the Australian social research company McCrindle, Halloween is growing in popularity with every generation. Those in Generation Y (aged 18-31) were far more likely to have celebrated Halloween in the past than Generation X (aged 32-46) and the Baby Boomers (aged 46-65). When asked whether they had ever celebrated Halloween before, 53% of Gen Ys had, compared to 45% of…

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Halloween & Day of the Dead Prep Party

It’s my third Halloween in Australia! It’s not a very popular holiday here, but I’m fortunate to have some people in my life who love Halloween and the Day of the Dead. Back in 2012, Theo and I hosted a pumpkin carving dinner party at our house and since then we’ve been gathering with my sister-out-law and her children to get ready for the big occasion. Last year, she made sugar skulls and we all gathered…

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The Queen’s Birthday Holiday

Today is a public holiday here in most of Australia. It’s the Queen’s Birthday! Ok, it’s not actually the Queen’s birthday. Queen Elizabeth II was born the 21st of April, but in Australia, except for the state of Western Australia, the Queen’s birthday is observed on the second Monday of June. The royal birthday has been celebrated since 1788 when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of the King of Great…

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Anzac Day

I’ve blogged before about how traditional holidays don’t feel as festive to me here in Australia as they do back in the USA. I still stand by those controversial entries, but what I’ve discovered since then is that there are other holidays that Aussies care very much about. Anzac Day is one of them. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who…

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Spring in Autumn

I have Seasonal Identity Disorder. Ok, I made that up; there’s no such clinical disorder (not yet), but it’s a thing, really it is. Keep reading and you’ll see. It’s autumn here. It’s brought a bit more rain and the leaves are turning glorious shades of golden orange and deep red. The days are mild and the nights are cool. The grey, rainy days aside, it’s mostly a nice time of year. A few weeks…

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Happy Labour Day, Australia!

Today is Labour Day in Australia, the day in which Aussies commemorate the achievements of the Australian labour movement. Once upon a time, workers to Australia came from England under Penal transportation and prisoners were under the condition of slavery. Under the Master and Servant Act, workers worked long hours, 10 to 12 hours a day, sometimes more, six days a week. As little as an hour’s absence from work resulted in the forfeit of…

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What Traditions?

Today’s prompt in the Expat Blog Challenge is, “A tradition I maintain.” I’m sad to admit that I don’t maintain any traditions now that I live in Melbourne. In November 2012, I wrote my most controversial blog entry, They Don’t Give a $@!#. In a pretty depressed state, I wrote about how I just didn’t feel that Australians are nearly as celebratory as Americans. It was a polarizing entry; many American expats agreed and Aussie readers…

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Dear Santa

Dear Santa, It’s been a while since I wrote you a letter, but I’ve moved and wanted to make sure you know that I’m not in Miami, FL anymore; I’m in Melbourne, Victoria. Yep, Australia, that’s right; that’s where the presents should be delivered. Life in Australia is pretty nice. As you know from your travels, it’s a beautiful country. The food is good, people are relaxed, and Melbourne has a wonderful artsy culture. Australia…

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They Don’t Give a $@!#

Before my first visit to Australia in February, I came across a humorous blog entry from another American expat on one significant cultural difference between Americans and Australians.

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Thanksgiving

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

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Halloween Pumpkin Carving

My non-sister-in-law and her family visited the U.S. during the Halloween season and fell in love with it. Halloween is not big in Australia, but I love the holiday and I can’t let it pass me by without some celebration. So, Theo and I invited the family over for an afternoon of pumpkin carving followed by dinner. Field pumpkins, the big orange type that Americans use for jack o’ lanterns are not common in Australia, but…

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Halloween for Everyone

Halloween is my favourite holiday and I’m really missing it. Although it’s slowly catching on, Australia doesn’t celebrate Halloween on the grand scale Americans do. Halloween, a contraction for All Hallow’s Evening, is a holiday observed on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian festival of All Hallows, also known as All Saints Day, a day that commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. In other words, a day to…

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