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Public Holidays

Australians celebrate public holidays throughout the year. Some are religious holidays, some are commemorations, others are just an excuse to party and enjoy the sunshine. This article contains information about national public holidays and links to details about State-observed public holidays.

Australians and Public Holidays

Australians love public holidays. We have about 10 of them each year. Some, like Christmas and Easter, are religious. Others, like Anzac Day, commemorate our history. Others, like Australia Day, are celebrations. And if we’re honest, there are one or two we’re not even sure what they’re about any more, but there’s no way we’re going to give them up!

While some public holidays are national, others are state specific. That means just because the people of Victoria are having a day off for the Melbourne Cup, doesn’t mean the people of Brisbane or Perth are also having the day off (although the Cup is called “the race that stops the nation” and is a kind of unofficial public holiday throughout the country).

For a full and current list of holidays and when they are, check out the state-by-state list of Australian public holidays on the Australian Government website.

National Public Holidays

Australia’s national public holidays are set by the Federal Government.

They include:

Australia Day

Held on January 26 every year to mark the anniversary of Captain Cook’s First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788, it is a national day of celebration.

Anzac Day

Held on April 25 each year, Anzac Day commemorates the disastrous Gallipoli landing during World War One, which saw many Australians killed in battle. It has become a national day of remembrance for all conflicts and is very seriously observed. One of the ways this day is observed is with something called a “dawn service”, which involves commemorative services held at war memorials throughout Australian communities as the sun rises.

New Year’s Day

Obviously, this is held on January 1 each year.

Good Friday

A religious holiday observed nationally, despite not all Australians being of the Christian faith. Date varies in accordance with the religious calendar

Easter Monday

Similarly, a Christian religious holiday held on the Monday following Good Friday.

Christmas Day

Celebrated on December 25 each year, Christmas is a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ. It’s not observed by all Australians, but everyone gets the day off.

Boxing Day

The day after Christmas each year – December 26.

Visit our Life in Australia section for more articles related to Daily Life in Australia.

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