On the face of it, the way we celebrate Christmas here is similar to the way it’s commemorated in the UK.
Families get together and exchange gifts. The majority of people will take an extended holiday over the Christmas and New Year period. The Christmas imagery is basically the very same in both nations, and it’s recognised as one of the big spiritual celebrations of the year.
There are some distinctions nevertheless– some straightforward, and some not rather so obvious.
With the assistance of the legendary Nat King Cole, here’s a summary of a few of the distinctions and resemblances in how the joyful season is recognised here and in the UK.
‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’
Australia doesn’t have much of chestnut custom. They are just grown in a small location of NE Victoria around Beechworth, and seldom seen in the shops outside that location as a specific Christmas food.
Even when they become part of the Christmas fare, it’s not likely they’ll be roasted on an open fire. Who is seriously going to light a fire in their house when it’s 30 degrees outside?! If cooked at all, it’s more likely to be on a bbq as an accompaniment to seafood.
‘Jack Frost nipping at your nose’
The icy images– snow lying ‘deep and crisp and even’– is very much confined to the UK. Even there, appropriate wintry conditions do not tend to show up till January or February. Britain has actually just enjoyed one conventional white Christmas in the previous years.
The average temperature in December in Sydney is 25 degrees which makes ‘slip, slop, slap’ more of a top priority instead of involving warm clothing against the cold. Sunstroke is far more of a threat here than frostbite, even in Melbourne!
‘Yuletide carols being sung by a choir’
There’s a big custom here of groups getting together to sing carols by candlelight under the stars. This will be a big, organised event in the main cities, frequently led by a well-known singing star. Towns will also have their regional occasions.
Weather constraints imply this isn’t the case in the UK, although there’s a tradition of a regional star switching on Christmas lights in towns and cities. There will frequently be a charity collection associated with each event.
Going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve is more of a custom in the UK than here, with churches hospitably welcoming revellers en route back from the pub as long as they ‘stand at the back and behave!’
‘And folks dressed up like Eskimos’
As we’ve already specified, this type of dressing up is much more a good idea in the UK than here.
If you’re joining in among the unscripted Christmas evening street parties you sometimes get in the main towns and cities, you’re most likely to require bit more than shorts and a Tee shirts.
‘Everyone knows a turkey and some mistletoe, help to make the season intense’
The Christmas turkey is quite a tradition that has come to Australia from the UK– although initially the meat of option there was goose instead of turkey.
The primary meal of the day is also eaten at lunch break in both nations, with extended household in participation.
The warmer weather condition means that here the turkey is most likely to be eaten cold with salad outdoors rather than indoors– and it’ll exist along with whatever comes off the bbq rather than the complete spread of roast potatoes and veggies (Brussels sprouts, anybody?) which is standard fare in the UK.
Seafood is very much an Australian custom on Christmas Day. The fish markets in every town will be loaded on Christmas Eve as families stock up for the following day.
‘Tiny toddlers with their eyes all aglow, will find it hard to sleep tonight’
When it concerns presents for the kids, traditions are very much the same in Australia as in the UK. ‘Santa Claus’ or his stealthy agent will generally leave an equipping at the end of each bed on Christmas Eve, although this will typically now be a pillowcase, or even a bin liner.
As an option, presents are frequently left round the Christmas tree for discovery on Christmas morning. The only difference will be that Santa will enjoy a cold beer with his mince pie in Australia, whereas in the UK it’s generally a glass of sherry!
‘They understand that Santa’s on his method, he’s crammed great deals of toys and goodies on his sleigh, and every mom’s kid is gon na spy, to see if reindeer actually know how to fly’
Given the weather, popular culture is most likely to depict Santa Claus arriving at Bondi Beach on a surf board than over the rooftops on a sleigh pulled by a team of reindeer.
As well as the weather, remember that it’s a little a trek from Lapland to Australia, whereas in the UK the journey is a far more manageable 3 hours– whether by plane or sleigh!
The various length school vacations indicate that children in Australia have far longer to enjoy their toys and goodies prior to going back to school. In Australia schools tend not to return up until the end of January rather than in the first week of the month, which is the case in the UK.
‘And so, I’m providing this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two’
There are 2 extremely ‘easy expressions’ associated with the day after Christmas Day.
The first is the ‘Boxing Day Test’. With cricket being the nationwide summer sport, it’s an enduring custom that the first day of the Test match at the MCG becomes quite a focus for all sports fans throughout the nation– whether preparing a day of TELEVISION seeing around it, or really going to ‘the G’ to watch it live.
It always draws a huge crowd– specifically if England are visiting with the notorious Barmy Army in tow.
In the UK, a full fixture list of football (soccer) matches is standard on Boxing Day, however it’s not something individuals will prepare a whole day around as they finish with the cricket here.
The 2nd basic phrase is ‘Boxing Day sales.’ These are quite a tradition both here and in the UK. The rise in online shopping hasn’t discouraged legions flocking to the stores on the day after Christmas in hunt of a deal.
‘Although it’s been stated sometimes, numerous methods, Merry Christmas to you’
So, a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at BDH. However you plan to celebrate, we hope you have a fantastic time, and take pleasure in a serene, healthy and flourishing brand-new year.