• 2023.01.05
The Australian Christmas is not celebrated only by Christians.
It is indeed an extremely multicultural and multi-ethnic country, so there are a myriad of different religious beliefs.
At first, I had the idea that Christmas experienced outside one's own ethnic and religious community takes on, so to speak, a neutral and consumerist and not purely Christian connotation.
You will hardly see nativity scenes around.
Similarly, in public schools it is not celebrated in a religious sense, children learn that Christmas is about giving but religious education is left to the family of origin.
In Australia, the Christmas holidays coincide with the end of the school year as it is summer here in December.
As early as December 1st, Australians turn off their brains and are projected towards their holidays, exactly as happens in Italy at the end of July. Everything is postponed to the new year, and everyone makes a list of new year resolutions: good intentions for the new year and for the new school year.
Traditionally, a Christmas party is held with work colleagues around this time…So far so good, but the Australians’ obsession with planning everything in advance means that these holidays start at the end of September and in September you start getting the invitation for the office Christmas parties and people start exchanging greetings two months in advance!
A tradition of Anglo-Saxon origin which I really like is the Secret Santa gift exchange. It is a very smart trick not to spend too much money on Christmas gifts: if you go to a party with family or friends, everyone must bring a secret wrapped gift to exchange randomly with one of the guests. This way everyone will have a gift to unwrap. The rule is normally to bring a unisex gift with a maximum value which is decided beforehand.
This year I’ll be in Italy celebrating Christmas with my family, but I must say I enjoy the typical Australian Christmas menu which normally consists of prawns on the grill, fish appetizers and some desserts.
Plum pudding is a typical dessert served on Christmas day and it has English origins. A variation of the fruitcake, it is made with the chef's choice of fruit and nuts.
Pavlova is typical Aussie and it is a large meringue that can be filled with cream or fruit, excellent with pomegranate seeds. The recipe consists of egg whites and sugar which are mixed and beaten together until it is baked to become puff.
What about Santa’s sleigh? The old man here has to do without reindeer. It is too hot for them. To help him, however, there will be six adult male kangaroos of white colour, called Boomers. They'll be pulling the sleigh across the Australian skies.
On Christmas day, families and friends reunite to go to the beach, swim or have a barbie (BBQ) together.
Nowadays some Aussies also celebrate “Christmas in July”, when it's cold. I don't know if it is true, but I heard it all started from the Blue Mountains, the locality about a hundred kilometres from Sydney, very popular at any time of the year by hikers and visitors. There, in July, the July festival is held, an event dedicated to winter entirely in authentic Christmas style.
In the main town of Katoomba, the hotels and restaurants are decorated as if it were Christmas and the snow which falls adds to the atmosphere.
Apparently some restaurants even organize a Christmas-style lunch complete with turkey, capon and all the high-calorie foods that are enjoyed in winter in the northern hemisphere of the planet.
Happy Holidays to all!!



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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