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Christmas in Australia

Remember, It's Summer

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Plants highlight the colors of Christmas in a festive Sydney

Plants highlight the colors of Christmas in a festive Sydney

© 2005 Larry Rivera, licensed to About.com, Inc

VIEW Christmas in Sydney Photo Gallery

Forget the snow, forget the sleighs.

It's never a white Christmas in Australia where Christmas Day occurs in the first month of the southern summer. Unless of course, you are at the top of Mt Kosciuszko where you still might find some unmelted snow.

Forget the turkey

And, for Christmas in Australia, you may as well forget the turkey, too, although quite a large number of Aussies cling to the English tradition of a Christmas roast dinner. And yes, it's quite anachronistic to have cold-weather fare on a summer's day.

The trend for Christmas in Australia has been toward seafood - prawns, lobsters, crabs, mussels, scallops, pippies, Balmain bugs - and cold salad as Christmas fare. And lots of fine Australian wine and robust Australian beer.

Northern trappings

Despite all that, the trappings of the northern Christmas are as ever-present in Australia as in the western countries north of the equator.

So, for Christmas in Australia, we have Santa Claus (sweltering in his heavy suit), Christmas cards (some depicting snow and, yes, sleighs and reindeer, too), Christmas carols, heavy shopping and Christmas gift-giving.

Outdoor activities

Because it's summer, many Christmas in Australia celebrations occur outdoors, with steaks and prawns on the barbie, and beer drunk out of bottles.

In the evening, there could be Carols by Candlelight, the big ones being at the Domain in Sydney and at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. Smaller cities, and towns, and villages and suburbs, too, may have their own Carols by Candlelight versions.

Church services

For the religious there's Midnight Mass and Christmas Day services.

And there's always the beach

And because it's summer, there'll be people celebrating Christmas in Australia on the beach when the weather's fine.

And before you know it, it's Boxing Day.

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