Australian Culture

Dates of Significance

Primary Author
Nina Evason,

National Holidays

  • New Year’s Day – 1st of January
  • Australia Day* – 26th of January
  • Easter – Varies each year
  • ANZAC Day – 25th of April 
  • Labour Day – 1st of May (Date varies between states)
  • Queen’s Birthday – 21st of April (Date varies between states)
  • Christmas Eve – 24th of December
  • Christmas Day – 25th of December
  • Boxing Day – 26th of December
  • New Year’s Eve – 31st of December


Australia Day

Australia Day is observed on the 26th of January, which marks the landing of the First Fleet at Port Jackson. On this day, citizens are encouraged to reflect on what it means to be Australian, and celebrate the positive aspects of the national spirit and country. Many people become citizens of Australia on Australia Day at Citizenship Ceremonies across the nation. For many migrants, the day is the anniversary of their citizenship and represents the overcoming of the numerous hardships on the path to belonging, and being able to call Australia home. However, the meaning and significance of Australia Day has evolved and been contested over time.


As the 26th of January marks the beginning of British , Australia Day represents pain and suffering for many First Nations Australians. There is a growing movement of people who feel the holiday must change date or theme on account of the devastating impact of on the way of life of First Nations people. The date is generally referred to as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’ by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as advocates of Indigenous rights. Boycotts of Australia Day celebrations have become more common in response to controversy surrounding the date. Some Australian companies let employees choose if they want to work on Australia Day and take the designated day off another time.


Regional Holidays

  • Royal Hobart Regatta (Tasmania)
  • Adelaide Cup (South Australia)
  • Canberra Day (Australian Capital Territory)
  • Eight Hour Day (Tasmania)
  • Reconciliation Day (Australian Capital Territory)
  • Western Australia Day (Western Australia)
  • Bank Holiday (New South Wales)
  • Picnic Day (Northern Territory)
  • Royal National Agricultural Show Day/Ekka Holiday (Queensland)
  • AFL Grand Final Day (Victoria)
  • Recreation Day (Tasmania)
  • Melbourne Cup Day (Victoria)


National Observances

  • Mothers’ Day – 2nd Sunday of May
  • National Sorry Day – 26th of May
  • National Reconciliation Week – 27th of May to 3rd of June
  • Mabo Day – 3rd of June1
  • NAIDOC Week – 1st week of July2
  • Australian National Flag Day – 3rd September3
  • Fathers’ Day – 1st Sunday of September
  • Remembrance Day – 11th of November


1 Mabo Day marks the anniversary of a court decision recognising the pre- land interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within Australia's common law. It commemorates Eddie Koiki Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander man whose campaign for Indigenous land rights in Australia led to the High Court of Australia overturning the legal fiction of terra nullius. It is a national observance and regional holiday for Torres Strait Islander communities in Torres Shire.


2 NAIDOC Week is dedicated to celebrating and honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements. NAIDOC is an acronym for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.


3 Australian National Flag Day, officially proclaimed by the Governor-General, is an opportunity for individuals, community organisations, local authorities, businesses and schools to celebrate the anniversary of the Australian National Flag.

Get a downloadable PDF that you can share, print and read.

Guaranteed secure stripe badge

A unified, searchable interface answering your questions on the world's cultures and religions

Sign up for free