On 25th December every year, many parts of the world celebrate a holiday known as Christmas. The holiday is particularly popular among the Christian Protestant and Roman Catholic churches who religiously observe this holiday. The other churches; Armenian Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and Russian Orthodox Church, honor the Christmas celebrations on 6th or 7th of the first month of the year. The holiday is celebrated to marvel at the birth of Jesus Christ whom the Christians of the world believe strongly is the the Son of God.
Australia despite being the worlds largest island, it is the earth smallest continent. The month of December falls in the summer season in Australia. Australia is predominantly a Christian country. The Christmas customs were introduced in Australia by Christian immigrants from Ireland and England, who came to spread the Gospel but eventually colonized the Continent. Christmas celebrations are influenced by the high temperatures in Australia during the summer season.
During this celebratory occasion among the popular events that are entertained by the Australian citizens are decoration houses, sending out greeting card to friends and families, installation of Christmas trees in schools, churches, homes and other public places, Christmas carols are widely sung, and the children look forward to a visit from Santa Claus to shower Christmas gifts. Normally, spending Christmas outdoors in the beach or going to communal camping grounds is a common activity of many Australians. Many tourists visits Australia during Christmas period mainly to visit the Bondi beach and participate in the Australian Christmas celebration.
Communities gathering at night lighting candles and merrily singing Christmas carols is a common cultural event. The event is made more colorful by the shining stars. These gatherings have become a popular event that are televised on national media platforms. The culture was popularized by a radio presenter going the name of Norman Banks in 1937 and has since been observed religiously. In Melbourne, the event of singing Christmas carols by large crowds gathering outside has been practiced since 1937. A number of carols are sung during this period; traditional carols sung at carol services such as The Three Drovers sung by John Wheeler. Other Australian Christmas carols including Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris and Jingle Bells by Colin Buchanan are also part and parcel of the Australian Christmas practice.
Many Australian plants flower during the Christmas period. Homes, churches, schools and other public places are decorated with palm leaves, ferns, evergreens, Christmas bush, Christmas bellflower and other colorful flowers that seasonally bloom during the Christmas festivities. Christmas trees being set up at homes is also a common eventuality.
In Australia, the highlight of Christmas is a midday dinner shared by family members and close friends who have gathered together from various regions in Australia. The main dishes served at the dinner are cold turkey and ham, salads and seafood. Pavlova has also become a common dessert in this dinner together with Christmas plum pudding with ice cream. The friends and families during this period majorly engage in outdoor events. They enjoy swimming, riding a bicycle in the scorching summer sun, surfing and sailing. In the afternoons, many enjoy grilling meals outside on the barbecue.
Australian Christmas culture is also heavily influenced by film and television. Television series during period showcase Christmas episodes trying to explain the gradual changes that have occurred as far as Christmas celebrations in Australia are concerned. Churches and schools present nativity plays exploring Christmas themes and stories. Movies such as Bush Christmas, Prince and the Great Race and Miracle Down are constantly played in Australian television. The children in the Australian community enjoy Christmas stories such as Twas the Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
The Christmas festivities bring a holiday in which sports fanatics get an opportunity to enjoy major sporting activities. A major sporting event during this period is the annual Boxing Day Test which pits the Australian national cricket team against an international visiting side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This has been the practice since 1950, and the game is watched by many fans and televised nationally. In another Australian city, Sydney, another major sporting event that has national presence commences during these festivities commences. The event which starts is the Yacht Race from Sydney to Hobart.
In tandem with the spirit of celebrations, Australian with Irish and British origins are fond offering tips to grocers, newspaper carriers and postman to show their token of appreciation for their help throughout the year. Church celebrations are attended by families, and carols are sung. Children look out for Father Christmas; people decked out in red woolen clothes to represent the proverbial Santa Claus, to shower them with gifts.
Australians are a community that observes to the latter the Christmas celebration. To them it Christmas does not just have a religious meaning but also a social one. The festivities are celebrated and enjoyed by many in their various ways.
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