Now that Christmas is almost upon us, it’s time to reflect on our traditions. Celebrating the holidays Down Under is a conundrum. While most countries experience cold weather, Christmas hits Australia in the peak of summer. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so a white Christmas is out of the question. On top of the scorching climate differences, accepting European culture is a tough pill to swallow. Christmas is a thinly veiled consumer holiday, but that doesn’t stop Aussies from getting down & dirty on Christmas.
Try as we might, there’s still no escaping the foreign influence of the holidays. We still have people sweating in Santa suits at strip malls & roasted turkey in the summer. For many people being Australian means continuing to follow meaningless traditions while wondering while we still do it. Fortunately, the holiday may be the same but our traditions still stand out.
Australians pride themselves on being different, so it’s no surprise that we have a distinct style of celebrating Christmas. The inner conflict of participating in outdated European traditions has forced us to get creative. Throughout the years we have put a fresh spin on Christmas. In this article we will highlight the holiday spirit that you will only see Down Under. Prepare to celebrate what makes us unapologetically Australian!
Top 3 Aussie Christmas Traditions
Tradition #1: Seafood Marathons – Christmas is the prime time to get seafood in Australia. Most people opt for prawns, so Kings, Tigers & giant Banana prawns fly off the shelves. Unfortunately, they don’t keep long. This forces people to buy their tasty treats at the last minute. In a bustling 36 hour window, people stampede fish markets to get their hands on prawns. This frantic shopping spree has paved the way for the Sydney Fish Market Christmas seafood marathon. Every year this market comes alive as 120 tons of prawns & 70,000 dozen oysters fly off the shelves. All this happens in 36 hours, so it captures all the fury of America’s Black Friday.
Tradition #2: Mango Madness – Summertime brings mangoes, & that leads to a slew of tasty surprises. Before there were only two types of mangoes in Australia, the Kensington Pride & Bowen mango. Now there are more strains than you can imagine, so there’s plenty to go around. Most people buy this delightful fruit on Christmas Eve, since the price inflates for Christmas. Once the mangoes are bought, a cornucopia of options open up. In Brisbane mango daiquiris have become a staple of the holidays. There are plenty other cocktails that utilize these tasty mangoes, but they also end up in the food. They can be diced up for salsa & served with prawns, roast pork & crabs. Some people even opt for Thai style salads. Either way this is definitely a highlight of the holidays.
Tradition #3: Holiday Drunkenness – Since this holiday lands in the middle of summer, it’s impossible to miss the partying. The warm weather calls for some exotic beverages, & no one enjoys them more than Aussies on the beach. Australia’s growing reputation as an expert alcohol producer isn’t a myth. There are plenty of top notch Aussie wines & spirits that are enjoyed alongside the seafood. Ice buckets are necessary as everyone tries to keep as cool as possible. You aren’t Aussie if you have a sober Christmas!