It is a long weekend holiday here during Easter in Australia. Schools, businesses, large stores and shopping centres are closed. So what do people do?
- Catch up with family and friends
- Some observe religious activities
- Join Sports and Music Festivals
Disclaimer: What I share here is my sole personal opinion on how Australia celebrates it. My impression is based on my experience since arriving this lucky country five years ago and on the observations I have over time.
Before I share, let me send you my warmest wish for today:
Wherever you are in the world, regardless of race, age, gender and faith, I would like to wish you and your family – the best of memories and happiness that this celebration can bring. As for me, I love Easter as it reminds me of second chances and holidays. So i wish you great times and new beginnings divine! xoxo – LynDurante
Easter, How is it Celebrated in Australia?
Today is a public holiday every Easter in Australia. In fact, the days off start on a Good Friday and last until Easter Monday. So you can just imagine a 4-day long weekend for everyone! Yes, you bet – it is awesome! And, that is yearly.
So, you might presume a festive atmosphere for everyone here. Well, you know what? When we arrived here in Australia five years ago, my impression was really the opposite. I remember myself being so depressed to observe quiet streets, no shopping precincts to go to, or even a restaurant to celebrate the day-off complete as a family during public holidays. Excuse me but the Asian part of me is just used to looking forward to extended hours of shopping or to dining out as a family during holidays. At least some people I talked to about this, who comes from Asian cities, expressed the same feeling. I guess we are influenced by consumerism of some sort and a capitalist world. A good or bad result? You decide.
Catch Up with Family and Friends
Across Australia, if a holiday falls on a weekend, the day off extends to Monday. Such that – if for example, the New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the immediate Monday is a public holiday as well. This goes true for other public holidays celebrated in the country like the Australia Day, Christmas and Boxing Day.
What this locally means for business owners is – higher wages to pay. So most shops are closed and even public transport services are restricted or not operating in some areas. On the one hand, if you plan to shop, expect higher cost of goods to pay.
Meanwhile, why would people go to shops? The custom here, as I then observed – people spend their day off on the beach, park, or inside their homes. If people are not busy mending or renovating something, they use this quality time with family and friends most often over delightful home-cooked meals or just warmly catching up.
In fact, most families here do spend quality time together by going on a camping, driving to country towns or flying interstate. They do go for short term vacation to known beaches and mountain resorts with their ski, sailboats and caravans. Of course, barbie (barbecue) and wine are always present.
Some Observe Religious Activities
Last Friday, we went to The Monastery in Adelaide City, where we joined several others reflecting on Lent through the Stations of the Cross. I was amazed at the long queues of people in groups who wants to do the same. A number of children centred activities too were held alongside contemplative means to observe the season.
The churches across Australia are also open in anticipation of the religious to observe traditions of confession, stations of the cross and church visits. In fact, the Sydney and Melbourne’s streets were filled with people of different backgrounds – political, race, age or gender as they gather for a Good Friday service in the Cathedrals.
Overall, Sunday is the peak moment where ecumenical gatherings are held in most local areas in the country. It is when different Christian churches come as one for the Easter celebration. Such a wonderful sight to behold where solidarity is eminent.
However, nothing beats the Easter Egg Hunts being held in houses or outdoors for children on this day across the continent. It has become the tradition not only recognised by children in schools but by families alike. I guess this activity stems from the fact that an egg is a symbol of new life.
Join Sports and Music Festivals
For the record, as sourced from timeanddate.com, a number of large sporting events also end on the Easter. These include:
- the Stawell Easter Gift athletics competition
- the Three Peaks Race, which consists of sections sailing around Tasmania and sections running up and down three mountains on the islan
- the Easter Racing Carnival in Sydney, and
- the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race.
Other happenings like the horse race meetings and the major football fixtures in Melbourne are held also on the Easter Monday. Furthermore, many music festivals are also initiated during the long weekend. This include the National Folk Festival, the Byron Bay East Coast Blues and Roots Bluesfest, the Australian Gospel Festival and a range of local events.
Indeed, it is awesome to celebrate Easter in Australia! Just take note that big shops close on these days but some small local businesses in busy tourist spots don’t. So book your travel plans properly.
I suggest you check agoda, booking.com, tripadvisor, or the airbnb owner or hotel you’re booking with for some advise or local tips regarding this matter.
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