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Traditions and Customs of Australia

Image of a woman on the beach with the Australian flag in her hands

 Australia is a giant, multicultural country. It is also the only country in the world that also happens to be a continent. The country’s very unique culture and traditions are down to a number of factors, such as its unique geography.

 With Australia being around three-quarters the size of Europe. In addition, it has a diverse cultural heritage that is influenced by hundreds of different ethnic and religious groups that have come to Australia for a better life.

 In this article, we are going to take a close look at the traditions and customs of Australia that shape its way of life.

     Australia Day.

 First of all, we will start off with Australia Day, arguably one of the most important days in every Australian’s calendar. This special day is celebrated every year on the 26th of January. It notes the 26th of January 1788 which is the day that the first settlers arrived in what is modern-day Australia. It is essentially the date that the country was founded.

Image of a kangaroo with the Australian flag

 During Australia Day, the majority of people receive a paid day off. Alternatively, the individuals who do have to work will receive double pay for that day. Families and friends will join together to celebrate by having a family dinner or going out partying.

 It is also the day when the ‘Australian of the Year’ is announced. It rewards and brings attention to the good that fellow Australians are doing for the community.

     Christian Holidays.

 Although Australia has no state religion, it is a traditionally Christian nation thanks to its British heritage. Therefore, Christian holidays such as Christmas, Boxing Day, and Easter are public holidays. During these holidays, the majority of the shops will be shut or working limited hours.

 These holidays are celebrated in the same traditional way as they are in Europe, based primarily on English Protestant traditions. Christmases are celebrated with roasted meat, which usually happens to be a turkey. Although other meats such as chicken and pork are also commonly consumed.

Happy big family at the dinner table

 The majority of people also exchange gifts on Christmas, although some also do so as is traditionally done on Boxing Day. The Boxing Day holiday is directly inherited from the predominantly British settlers that arrived in Austria hundreds of years ago.

 On Easter, families also gather around for a roast chicken meal with vegetables. They will also exchange chocolate shaped in the form of eggs and Easter bunnies. Thanks to Australia’s sunny weather, it is very common for tens of thousands of tourists to fly in to celebrate Christmas without the burden of the cold.

     Barbecues.

 Australians love barbecues (BBQs), it is estimated that over 65% of Australian households hold a BBQ at least once a year. This is likely why Australia is often nicknamed the “BBQ capital of the world”.

 One of the main reasons for this is that Australia is a very big country. Due to the fact that land is plentiful, a very high proportion of homes have historically come with a large garden. Thus, a major use of this large garden has been to host BBQs with friends and family. Over time this pastime has become a real tradition as it has been passed down from generation to generation.

Delicious grilled meat on the wire rack

 Perfect romance and relaxation is the nature of Australia. Furthermore, the lovely Australian weather makes BBQs possible. After all, the rain will not just make barbecuing much trickier, but it will also make it less enjoyable. You will not be able to relax outside and catch up with your loved ones if there is heavy rain. Thankfully, the weather in Australia is a match made in heaven if you are planning to have a BBQ.

     Taxi Etiquette.

 If you plan to visit Australia, then it is important that you consider the taxi etiquette that exists there. Being polite and respectable is a major component of Australian society. Greetings individuals that you are interacting with as well as saying ‘Thank You’ when appropriate. Therefore, learning these specific traditions and customs of Australia is key.

 First of all, let us start off with actually getting into the vehicle. If you are by yourself, then it is important that you sit at the front of the vehicle next to the driver. This is a sign of respect to the driver, that he is not your servant, but a person just like you. If there are multiple passengers, then there are no issues with people sitting in the back seats.

Image of a taxi in the night city

 Moreover, the other important aspect of taxi etiquette is that you have small talk with the driver. Small talk is a polite conversation about generic and non-serious topics, such as the weather and how your day has been. After all, the driver is not really interested in how your day has been; however, he is talking to you in order to be polite. You should therefore return the favor.

     NAIDOC Week.

 Every year, in the first week of July. The culture and history of Aboriginal Australians are honored in what is known as NAIDOC week. NAIDOC is an abbreviation for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

 Events are held throughout the country such as fairs, festivals, and also remembrance walks that consist of guided walks through historically Indigenous Australian lands.

Human hand and flag of Australia

 It is a spectacular thing to get involved in, as it provides you with an opportunity to learn about the beautiful side of Australia that very few individuals know about. During NAIDOC, you will not just learn about history, but also Aboriginal food, music, and art.

     Cultural Sports.

 In Australia, sporting culture has been present from the very start of the country’s foundation, and it remains extremely strong to this day. Australia is a leading nation in rugby and also cricket. Two sports where they are frequently ranked in the top 10 teams worldwide. However, the biggest sport is ‘Australian football’.

 An interesting hybrid between rugby and cricket. A contact sport similar to rugby, however, played on an altered cricket field. Both rugby and cricket are founded by the English and are a sign of the strong influence that Britain has had on Australian society.

Image of a ball for playing Australian football

 A common pastime is to pop into a cozy local pub and watch a game. If you are lucky, you can also attend one of many state-of-the-art stadiums in the country and witness elite athletes at their best.

 Sport for the Aussies is a way of life. Every region having its own professional sports team that every local will band together to support. Witnessing the passion and being part of the exciting journey to potential sporting success is a truly life-changing experience.

     Going to the Beach.

 The country of Australia has the seventh-longest coastline in the world. Over 34,000 square kilometers and can be as high as 66,530 square kilometers if you also count the islands, part of Australia. It is also key to note that much of inland Australia is a desert, therefore over 80% of Australians live on the coast.

Image of a beautiful beach in Australia

 Going to the beach is a part of life in Australia throughout the entire year. You have the option of taking part in more active water-based endeavors such as surfing and swimming.

 Alternatively, you can get involved in more relaxing activities such as sunbathing or taking a peaceful stroll by the sea. Regardless of what you decide to do, going to the beach is definitely one of the many traditions and customs of Australia to get involved in.

   Read the article: What Is Life Like In Australia?

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