Melbourne Cup (Melbourne only) -
Tuesday November 7, 2017
Secular holiday : Since 1867 dedicated to horse racing covers the whole state as of 2008
Summer holiday (beginning) -
Friday December 22, 2017
School holidays :
Christmas Day -
Monday December 25, 2017
Catholic or protestant : Since pre-historic times in Europe, festivities (bonfires, offrerings) were marking the beginning of longer hours of daylight with fires and ritual. The Roman festival of Saturnalia lasted several days in December (gambling and offerings). Germanic tribes also celebrated mid-winter (drinking and rituals). The Bulgarian (with Koleduvane) and the Polish (with Gwiazdka) perpetuate this tradition. Jesus of Nazareth was probably born in springtime (Reformists favour autumn). But in the 4th century, December 25th was chosen for the celebration of his birth by Pope Julius I (Bishop Liberus is also mentioned in 354 A.D.). Thus, a Christian element was introduced in the long-established mid-winter festivals. Before 1582, the Papal States and other Italian city states celebrated New Year’s Day on Christmas Day.
Boxing Day -
Tuesday December 26, 2017
Secular holiday : Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would traditionally receive gifts known as a Christmas box from their masters, employers or customers.
Due to historical reasons, depending on the year, Boxing Day can be celebrated BEFORE Christmas in the UK. [Wikipedia]