Instead of building snowmen in traditional Christmas jumpers, we do things a little differently Down Under… here are some of Australia’s strangest Christmas traditions.
Ugly Christmas Rashies
It’s too hot here to take part in the ugly Christmas jumper trend, so we have had to create a substitute… ugly Christmas rashies! A ‘rashie’, also known as a rash vest, is a shirt made out of swimwear material so that our skin can be protected from the sun when outdoors.
For many Australians, Christmas is often spent at the beach due to the warm weather. While we don’t have the opportunity to make snowmen or have a snowball fight, we don’t want to miss out on all of the fun of the winter wonderland, so we build sandy snowmen on the beach instead.
Christmas Crackers (otherwise known as bonbons) are a time-honoured tradition that originated from England. It wouldn’t be Christmas without wearing paper crowns that are sure to rip when you put them on, and telling awful jokes that are so bad they’re good! Here’s a good one to get you in the Christmas spirit:
Q: What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? A: A Christmas Quacker
White Elephant Gift Exchange
Have you been invited to participate in a White Elephant but have no idea what that means? A White Elephant is a Christmas gift exchange which involves a lot of strategy, negotiation, and occasional heartbreak.
It is different from a traditional Secret Santa gift exchange (in which you buy a gift for a particular person) because in a White Elephant, you don’t know who you are buying a gift for! Part of what makes White Elephant fun is that you could end up with an amazing gift or you could end up with something not so great.
There are many different variations of White Elephant, so the rules you use to play depend on the group of people you’re playing with. For a basic overview of the rules, check out the Wikipedia page.
On warm summer evenings around Christmas time, one of the most enjoyable things to do is walk around and experience Perth’s many Christmas light trails. People often turn on their lights on 1 December, but the City of Perth turns theirs on in mid-November. If you’re not sure where to view Christmas lights, check out our list of the best places to visit!
There are two things that most Australians do on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas): watch sport, or go shopping… or both!
From the sports perspective, we have two very important events on Boxing Day. The first is the Boxing Day test match, which is a cricket game between the Australian team and any other national teams touring Australia. This begins on 26 December and can last up to five days. The second important sporting event is the Sydney to Hobart yacht race called the Bluewater Classic. This event occurs from 26-31 December, and sees yachts sail from Sydney to Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart.
For those who don’t particularly enjoy sports, you can spend the day enjoying the post-Christmas sales and purchase anything you were hoping to be gifted for a significantly discounted price. This is a chance for the stores to get rid of their excess stock and is the best time to get any Christmas decorations you have been eyeing off.
If sport and shopping don’t interest you, that’s okay. However you prefer to spend Boxing Day, be sure to do it surrounded by a group of your closest friends and family, and enjoy the end of the Christmas chaos together.
Have you made a Sandy Snowman in your ugly Christmas rashie? We want to see your creations! Show us by tagging us on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) using our handle @studyperth or use the hashtag #LiveLearnLaunch