While the traditions of Christmas and New Year’s are well known to you from the perspective of a Northerner, it is well worth your while to experience this festive time of year from the perspective of an Aussie.
Below the equator, the warmth of the Southern Hemisphere and the geographic isolation of Australia has fostered an experience of the holidays that varies with everything that constitutes this time of year for you.
What is the best way to spend the holiday season in Australia? By following any one of these three suggestions, you’ll make the most of your time in Oz during the happiest time of year.
1) Go to the beach after opening gifts on Christmas morning
In the Northern Hemisphere, a major part of the ideal Christmas experience is defined by softly falling snow outside one’s window. In Australia, this holiday falls in the middle of the summer, making it a tradition for Aussies on the coast to head out to their local beach after the events of the morning have concluded.
All along Australia’s expansive coastline, Santa hat clad beachgoers pack the soft sands of Bondi, the Gold Coast and other popular seaside gathering places to share in each others good cheer, eat barbeque and enjoy the blissful weather that its position on the globe affords it at this time of year.
2) Attend the Boxing Day test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
If your holiday season travels have you in the vicinity of Melbourne on the 26th of December (Boxing Day), you will have the chance to take in a long standing Australian holiday tradition in the flesh.
All around the nation on the 26th, sports fans subdued by all the turkey they ate the previous day and at lunch (gotta love leftovers!) will tune into the Boxing Day test match between team Australia and another nation (in 2014, Oz will take on India).
If you can’t buy your way into the stadium, there are tons of places that will be showing the game, so take a seat next to some passionate locals and have a genuinely Aussie experience.
3) Ring in the New Year in Sydney
The last evening of the year is a big deal no matter where you are in the world, but there is no better place to celebrate Australia’s New Year Eve than in Sydney. Being the nation’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city, the festivities here are world class, with a fireworks show at 12 Midnight that consistently ranks among the world’s best.
Earlier in the evening, aerobatic pilots will put on a display of aerial agility and skill at 6 and 8pm, while light shows involving the harbor bridge after sunset will keep you and the crowds entertained until the big moment at the top of the clock when 2015 finally arrives Down Under.