Australians celebrate New Year with
extraordinary finesse, exuberance and
flamboyance. Various spectacular and
bedazzling firework shows and other
entertainment events are organized
throughout the country on December 31.
Today, most of the spirited people of Australia follow
the Gregorian calendar, thus, marking January 1 as
the first day of the year. However, this was not
always the case; the Gregorian calendar was first
brought to Australia by the early European settlers.
Prior to this, the nation followed the Julian
calendar, which was somewhat shorter than the
solar year. The need for a new day and date
calculation system arose as the old calendar
became highly inaccurate with the change in the
When Pope Gregory XIII introduced Gregorian
calendar on February 24, 1582, it was accepted by
European nations, like Spain, Portugal and parts of
Italy without delay. However, many nations, such as
the Great Britain, incorporated it as late as in 1752.
Till date, not all Australians observe New Year
according to the Gregorian calendar.
For instance, on July 1, the official tax year of the
country begins. The large number of Asian
community, settled here, celebrates the day as per
their lunar calendar, which falls on the second or
third new moon after the December
Solstice, sometime between January 21 and
What really deserve a special mention, when
discussing New Year in Australia, are the
beliefs and practices that were followed by
the aboriginal tribes, who dwelled here before
the arrival of Europeans.
New Year Celebrations
In the contemporary times, New Year is
ushered in grand style across Australia. This day
has been declared a public holiday in the
country, which greatly adds to the festive mood
of the people. They come out of their houses
and attend several zealous public as well as
private New Year celebrations held at various
beautiful beaches, discotheques, pubs, clubs
and hotels, accompanied by their relatives as
well as friends.