In Australia, there are national public holidays which are observed by every state and territory across the country. The states and territories also have their own holidays which are observed locally. In some states, selling alcohol during the Easter Holidays is not allowed. The major holidays in the Australia Calendar are as follows:
New Year’s Day
Australia celebrates New Year on the 1st of January like most countries in the western world. This a national holiday.
The following major holiday is Australia Day. This is a national holiday that celebrates the establishment of the first English community in Port Jackson. This settlement was established in 1788 by Arthur Philip, the captain of the group. Australia Day is observed on the 26th of January each year. This holiday has been celebrated since 1808 and by 1946, it had become a national public holiday. In 1994, the official date for its celebration was set to 26 January.
This commemorates the industrial action by builders on the 21st of April 1856 which led to the passing of the 8-hour work day legislation This holiday was born from a workers movement which advocated for an 8-hour work day. Work came to a halt on construction sites in Melbourne and the workers managed to have the law passed without suffering any loss of remuneration. May Day is inspired from this event by the Australian Labor Movement. It should be noted that although Labour Day is a national holiday, it is not celebrated on the same date in all the Australian states and territories.
Easter is the next major holiday that comes after Labor Day. The dates for Easter in Australia are not fixed because they are based on the Western Christian Calendar. This is a calendar that is followed by Christians of various denominations around the world.However, it should be noted that it’s safe to put Easter somewhere in the 22 March to 25 April range, if you are using the Gregorian calendar. In most countries with a large Christian population, Easter Monday is a public holiday whose date is set by the government or parliament.
The 25th of April is Anzac Day. ANZAC stands for Australian & New Zealand Army Corps. It is a day to remember people who died fighting for their country in the previous wars. It also marks the landing of ANZAC soldiers in Gallipoli, Turkey during the First World War.
The ANZAC Day ceremonies include war veteran marches, poem recitals [Ode of Remembrance] and cavalry trumpet calls.
The Queen’s birthday is a National Holiday that is celebrated in all states and territories. It is held on the first Monday of June except in the Queensland and Western Australia states. In Western Australia, the Queen’s Birthday has no fixed date but it usually occurs on the last week of September or the first week of October, on a Monday. The state of Queensland has moved the Queen’s Birthday to the first week of October starting in 2012.
Since King George’s Birthday was officially made a holiday in 1788, the Queen’s Birthday has been a traditional ceremony. On this day, deserving people are granted some national honors including the Order of Australia. For the public, this holiday is characterized by displays of fireworks although its popularity is now dwindling compared to the New Year.
The beloved Christmas Day falls on the 25th of December. This is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a Christian event that is also a state-declared public holiday in most countries including Australia. The early English settlers in Australia brought this festival with them in 1788.
The Australia Calendar finishes off the year with Boxing Day. This is the day after Christmas, on the 26th of December. There only state in Australia where there is no Boxing Day is South Australia. The South Australians instead have Proclamation Day. A few cities in Australia will also host sporting events on this day, notably the Melbourne Cricket Test Match and the Sydney Bluewater Classic.