Aussies Are Explaining Our Christmas Traditions To The Rest Of The World And It's So Fascinating

    "Australian Christmas is basically the American Fourth of July — we get pissed at 10am, eat a fuck-load of meat and then, after dark, light something on fire."

    If you've never experienced a Christmas south of the equator, I can only imagine that the concept of a summertime festive season might fill you with a sense of intrigue and horror.

    Well, one American set forth to enlighten themselves on the Chrissy traditions of our great nation. In a Reddit thread, user u/lobbiepuma asked: "Do Australians have summer traditions related to Christmas?"

    Australians came out in full-force, sharing their favourite Christmas traditions and the trademark signs that Santa was on his way Down Under! Here are our faves:

    1. "Australian Christmas is basically the American Fourth of July — we get pissed at 10am, eat a fuck-load of meat and, after dark, light something on fire."


    2. "I'm an Aussie in the USA and I haven't seen this mentioned much yet — Carols by Candlelight."

    "You'll have popular entertainers (including The Wiggles), singers, an orchestra, a choir, all performing Christmas Carols with audience sing-a-long on blankets with candles and picnics. Sometimes 100,000 people attend in some of the larger cities, but even smaller towns will host them.

    It's the perfect time of year for it — warm, late sunset and it's a wonderful community event. Australia also has less religious hang ups about Christmas than the US — it’s a celebration of summer and family. It's a bit like July 4 and Thanksgiving rolled into one more than it is about religion."


    3. "You have to head out to the beach or lake on Christmas morning and then jump in for a swim if you want to open your presents."


    4. "A Christmas pavlova or some mangos are a big thing. Prawns. So many damn prawns and the smelly festering post-Christmas bin of prawn heads."


    5. "Christmas dinner is whatever you want it to be. Plenty of folks do a traditional roast, seafood at home or at the beach or park. You can play garbage bin cricket if you want to go outside, maybe board games."

    "Major roads are blocked early, so you've probably spent Christmas eve preparing, decorating the pavlova, running to the shops on the 23rd to avoid empty shelves on the 24th and a beer run earlier in the week."


    6. "From 5am, you queue outside the seafood market and by 6am, the queue goes a mile down the street. When the supermarket has tiger prawns at $32 per kilogram, the seafood market will have them at $47 and you think you can justify the price difference with the word 'fresh'."


    7. "If you've got a backyard pool, you’re always going to be the one hosting Christmas."


    8. "We learnt Aussie 'Jingle Bells' at school, and always sang that at the end of year assembly. I didn't know it was a different song and now that I think about it, I don’t know the words of the original 'Jingle Bells'."


    And for those who want to know the Aussie lyrics:

    "Dashing through the bush,

    In a rusty Holden Ute,

    Kicking up the dust,

    Esky in the boot.

    Kelpie by my side,

    Singing Christmas songs,

    It's Summertime and I am in

    My singlet, shorts and thongs. 

    Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,

    Christmas in Australia

    On a scorching summers day, hey!

    Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!

    Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute."


    9. "Mum cooking a roast dinner in 40 degree heat, prawns, coleslaw, potato salad, cheesecake, frangipani pie, all of us following the shade of trees around the back yard and, later, a game of cricket against the neighbours. On Christmas Eve, we sang songs about snow too. On Boxing Day, we watched the Melbourne cricket test on a TV under the house."


    10. "Water fight! Nerf guns, water bombs, free for all!"


    11. "A heavily-laden alcoholic trifle. Yum."


    12. "Beach, BBQ and drinking beer while the cricket is on the TV, but nobody actually watches it except one uncle."


    13. "If you want to know about Aussie Christmas traditions, watch A Moody Christmas. I think it’s on streaming services. That is every classic Aussie Christmas tradition in one brilliant series."

    View this video on YouTube

    14. "For my family, it was always a huge lunch made up with roasts and cold cuts, lots of salads and a table tennis tournament."


    15. "If you're a bit of a Kath, like me, you have a bunch of dangle novelty earrings — I personally like the ones that light up. And of course the reindeer headband from the $2 shop. Plus, those bloody reindeer attachments for your car. I don't like them myself, but they are definitely a tradition around my parts."


    16. "Mangoes, cherries, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, kiwi fruit — all on top of a pavlova. Prawns and oysters."


    17. "Either walking around your own neighbourhoods to see the lights (if you're in a bougie, well-lit suburb), or driving to all the best streets in the city to watch aggressively-competitive families battle it out to have the best Christmas lights on the street."


    18. "In Australia, most families pack into the house of someone in the family who has a pool or the largest backyard. You cook a ham early in the morning and let it cool down so you don’t give yourself heat stroke eating hot food. The auntie who can cook the best pork crackling is a national hero."


    19. "Lots of salads, lots of seafood. You drink Kirks soda and maybe someone made a fancy fruit punch. Most of the day is outdoors in bathers or huddled in the kitchen gossiping, while the blokes watch the cricket and drink beer at 10am. Wine is flowing freely and at some point your aunt will tip over into drunk enough to start singing along with the Aussie classics that your bogan cousin has blaring in the background."

    "It’s such a comfortable and friendly time. It's play and laughter and lemonade and loud music. American Christmas always seemed so stuffy to me. Australian Christmas is just like a backyard summer party, except there's no hookups because you’re all related. It’s just good music and fun and food under the sun."


    20. "Our school year finishes in December and doesn't start back up again until February, so all the kids are on holiday. Lots of people go on vacation or the beach."


    21. And finally: "Fuck the sleigh, Santa comes in on a fire truck, in a cop car or driving his own boat. It's ace."


    Reddit responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Aussies, what are your favourite things about Christmas Down Under? And non-Australians, let us know if there's anything you've been dying to know about how we do the festive season!