Australia has a combination of national public holidays and statewide public holidays. In addition there are some regional holidays that are observed to recognise local events or historic occasions.
Australia’s National Public Holidays
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st each year. It recognises the first day of the calendar year. If New Year’s Day falls on a weekend then an additional public holiday is granted on the next available weekday.
Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. It is held on January 26th each year and marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships on Australian soil.
In recent times there has been much public debate over whether the date should be changed. Many indigenous and non-indigenous Australians associate the date with the forceful taking of the land from the indigenous people, making it a date of sorrow rather than a date of celebration.
Good Friday is a christian related public holiday which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Good Friday is always held on the Friday preceeding Easter Sunday.
The date of Good Friday changes each year as the dates of Easter may fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. The dates of Easter change because it’s determined by the lunar cycles in the Jewish calendar.
The Easter Monday public holiday occurs on the Monday after Easter Sunday each year.
The date of Easter Monday changes each year as the dates of Easter may fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. The dates of Easter change because it’s determined by the lunar cycles in the Jewish calendar.
ANZAC Day is unique to Australia and exists to mark respect to those that have fallen in war. ANZAC Day falls on the 25th of April each year.
The date of 25th April is significant because it marks the anniversary of the first major military involvement by Australian and New Zealand troops in the First World War.
It is worth noting that there is no additional weekday public holiday granted if ANZAC Day falls on a weekend.
Christmas Day occurs on the 25th of December each year. Christmas Day is a christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
If the date falls on a weekend then an additional public holiday is granted on the next available weekday.
Boxing Day occurs on the 26th of December each year and marks the day after Christmas. Boxing Day is observed by all states of Australia excluding South Australia, where the same holiday is observed as Proclamation Day.
If Boxing Day falls on a weekend then an additional public holiday is granted on the next available weekday. In some instances Christmas Day falls on a weekend with the Christmas public holiday pushing to the Monday. This in turn pushes the Boxing Day holiday to the Tuesday.