Holidays are days of fun and frolic that people all over the world look forward to in their calendars amongst days of hard and tedious work and similar is the case for the people of Australia.
The 24 million population of this continent enjoys a wide range of holidays ranging from New Years to Boxing Day over the course of a year.
A particular custom here makes it a very suitable place for the working class allowing them to enjoy the holiday on a Monday if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday which are already non-working days of Australia.
The bank holidays in Australia consists of both national as well as regional holidays and are declared on a state and territorial level.
The list of Australia’s bank holidays 2017 is a group effort by the members of 123NewYear to bring to its respected readers a compiled list of holidays over the year with their respective dates and a brief idea about its origin and history as well as an overview of how people in Australia celebrate these holidays.
Here’s a list of Australia’s bank holidays in 2017:
|Holidays in Australia||Date||Description|
|New Year 2017||2nd Jan 2017||“As New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday (1st of Jan 2017) the holiday is extended till Monday and celebrations can be held longer than the usual. The people of Australia welcome the New Year prior to many countries accounting to its location being in the close vicinity of the International Date Line. The first day of the Gregorian calendar is inaugurated by a magnificent fireworks display in the Sydney harbor at exactly 00:00 hours of January 1 along with many individual displays being held in smaller towns and cities. After partying the New Year’s Eve all night people use this holiday to relax a bit and spend some quality time with friends and families. Even though public transport is not very effective on this day people go out in their own private cars and means of transport. Another eye catching event of the new year is the performance of Chinese Australian rituals that take place in the China place in Melbourne.|
|Australia Day||26th Jan 2017||“This annual celebration marks the anniversary of the coming of the 1788 First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. Being the National day of Australia this day also commemorates the raising of Great Britain flag by then governor Arthur Phillip. In present day celebrations, the Australian of the Year Awards are held on the eve of this holiday. This public holiday constitutes of events like community festivals, concerts, barbecues, firework displays and many more all across the different communities in Australia. The Sydney harbour is flocked by people to enjoy ferry races as well as parades being held in Adelaide and the traditional match of cricket played at the Adelaide Oval. Melbourne celebrates the presence of multiple communities and cultures of Australia through its events like the People’s March and the Voyages Concert. Also, the largest event of Australia Day is the Perth Skyworks with an unimaginable headcount.|
|Canberra Day||13th March 2017||“This public holiday is generally held on the second Monday of the month of March to celebrate the official naming of Canberra which was originally done by Lady Denman in 1913. It is held in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) with events like the Canberra Festival which is a 10 day long affair along with the Canberra Day Awards hosted by the Chief Minister as well as the Canberra Festival Balloon Spectacular. On this day, the people appreciate the cultural beauty of country and many exhibitions, displays, music and dance programs are held. As this holiday always falls on a Monday it acts as an extended weekend perfect for the people to go out on road trips or camping trips or a trip to the main city or countryside.|
|Good Friday||14th April 2017||“This religious holiday is held on the Friday just before Easter Sunday to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It’s is the start of a four day Easter weekend and is one of the most popular times of family get-togethers. Customs and traditions differ among the people according to the church they are patrons of. Churches hold long prayer assemblies and holy services. Stores generally don’t take part in alcohol sale on this day and also pubs may have restricted opening hours. It’s a day of mourning for the Christians and many communities may hold fasts on this day with no consumption of meat. Following traditions, people eat small bread like buns flavoured with spices and raisins popularly known as hot cross buns. The name owes itself to the presence of a cross marked on the top of these buns. The Good Friday afternoon is highlighted with the Three Peaks race in Tasmania as well as other sporting events such as the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race and the Easter Racing Carnival in Sydney.|
|Easter Sunday||16th April 2017||“Easter Sunday is believed to be the day Jesus rose from the dead post crucifixion. Many irregular church visitors make it a point to visit the church on this day as the resurrection of Christ is one of the major beliefs of Christianity. On this day, people give or receive the famous Easter eggs. Easter eggs are traditional known to be delivered by the Easter Bunny. These are egg-shaped chocolates or candy covered in brightly coloured wrappers or foil and is a favourite among people irrespective of their age. Many families thus organise Easter egg hunts in parks or gardens. Many stores are closed on this day as people all around rejoice the long Easter weekend away from their regular work schedules.|
|Easter Monday||17th April 2017||“Easter Monday marks the end of this 4-day long weekend and celebrations. It is the last day of all the music festivals that were held in the Easter weekend such as Australian Gospel Music Festival in Queensland or the National Folk Festival in Canberra and also many other local events. The sporting events that had started on Good Friday also end on this day. This day is also spent in relaxation activities with family members making the most of the last Easter Day before heading out to work again.|
|Anzac Day||25th April 2017||“Anzac Day is a commemorative and patriotic national holiday of remembrance of the first landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli during the First World War. Every year on this day all the martyrs that have given up their lives for the country are paid a tribute for their bravery and verses are spoke about them being evergreen. It is regarded as one of the most solemn days of the year and marches by veterans from past wars as well as the soldiers currently serving the nation are performed with pride. The whole event is given live coverage along with commentary on television sets throughout the nation. Also a traditional Australian gambling game called two-up was a highly popular pastime among the ANZEC soldiers and because of this even though gambling is strictly legally forbidden in many Australian territories two-up is made legal only for this day every year.|
|Labour Day||1st May 2017||“Also known as May Day, this holiday marks the achievements of the Australian Labour Movement which started as early as the mid 1800’s. It pays a tribute to the large constitution of workers who are responsible for the growth of the economy and nation as a whole. It is a public holiday in all the states and territories of Australia during which people can relax or spend peaceful time with their family and friends or go on a getaway trip to the mountains or countryside to enjoy scenic beauty. One day events such as picnics or camping or wine tasting are also popular choices. In the capital city of Queensland i.e. Brisbane there are marches held on Labour a Day in which labour union members take part and are led by influential political leaders.|
|Queen’s Birthday||12th June 2017||“This day is being celebrated in Australia since 1788 when the then governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of the King of Britain. Australia celebrates this holiday as it’s a constitutional monarchy with the English monarch as the head just like the present Monarch of this nation is queen Elizabeth the second. It is generally celebrated on the second Monday of the month June with many famous sporting events being held one of them being the Australian Football League played at the Melbourne Cricket Club. People also set off fireworks displays on the Queen’s Birthday weekend in the Australian Capital Territory which is otherwise illegal at other times of the year.|
|Picnic Day||7th August 2017||“Also known as the Northern Territory Picnic Day this day is always celebrated on the first Monday of August. It serves as an extra day of relaxation for workers. Historically this holiday was started to serve the purpose of giving railway employees a day off so that they could go to the Adelaide River for a day of picnic and so the name. People of the Northern Territory spend this day having picnics, barbecues or baseball and netball games. Also, a popular Picnic Day event is The Harts Range Annual Race featuring bull rides, utility truck competitions, children’s novelty events and many more. The town of Adelaide also hosts a traditional picnic with classic picnic games like tug-o-war, three-legged races and egg and spoon ones too.|
|Ekka People’s Day||16th August 2017||“This is the annual agricultural show of Queensland having the formal title ‘Royal Queensland Show’ and is held at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. It targets showing off Queensland’s agricultural produces and cattle breeds and show dogs through a number of competitions and exhibits. The first exhibition was held in 1876 and has been happening every year since then drawing more than 600,000 visitors. It usually takes place on the second Wednesday of August and the exhibition along with fireworks, amusement park rides, fashion parades, prize winning animals and food stalls is one grand event.|
|Melbourne Cup Day||7th November 2017||“This event is one of Australia’s most well-known social and racing event. It is held on the first Tuesday of the month of November every year at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. People from all over Australia come to attend this horse racing event. It is broadcasted live over television, Internet and the radio. The first race was held in this racecourse in 1861. People dress their best for this event while gourmet food and champagne are served to the VIP guests including international celebrities. Even though many horse races have emerged throughout Australia, the Melbourne Cup Day still holds its glory of being the number one horse racing event among all.|
|Christmas Day||25th December 2017||“The seasons of Australia as we know are opposite to ours. They celebrate Christmas during the summer vacation. Most of Australia’s immigrants came from England and Ireland thus bringing their Christmas customs along with them. It is a very holy and a merry occasion for the Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus on this day. Inhabitants of Australia in general inspire of not being a Christian give gifts to their loved ones, prepare traditional Christmas meals and decorate their houses with baubles and fairy lights at this time. Children put up Christmas trees and stockings in hope to get gifts from the mythical character of Santa Claus. Traditionally, the Christmas meal consists of roasted turkey and meat, mashed potatoes, fruit cakes and steamed puddings. However people nowadays choose to celebrate Christmas in their own special way with their dear and near ones.|
|Boxing Day||26th December 2017||“The day right after the Christmas Day goes by the name Boxing Day which is famous for sport events like the Boxing Day test match which is a cricket game held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Another important sport event is the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race also known as the Blue-water Classic. Boxing Day is also popular for post-Christmas sales when people get the advantage of buying products at significantly lower prices.|