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If you're a non-Christian & don't normally celebrate Christmas, you might be wondering what's going on when you notice somebody running around dressed as Santa on a surfboard in December.

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Have A Happy Multicultural Christmas
If you're a non-Christian & don't normally celebrate Christmas, you might be wondering what's going on when you notice somebody running around dressed as Santa on a surfboard in December.

Australians have embraced some European Christmas traditions, but have also created their own. The good news is, there are many ways of doing Christmas in Australia.

While Christmas is still observed as a religious holiday by many, some Australians don't observe the religious aspect of the holiday and rather see it as a way to get together with family and friends, exchange presents and feast.

The Christmas lunch:

In Australia, Christmas celebrations usually start with lunch. For a lot of people, it's a casual affair.

SBS Food managing editor Farah Celjo says there are staples you'll find on a lot of tables come Christmas lunch: 'Things like Christmas ham, snacking boards, plenty of seafood, Christmas pudding, tiramisu, trifle, pavlova. And then you also eat plenty of fresh fruits so obviously you think about cherries, mangoes, peaches and other stone fruits.'

But she also says that since Australia is so multicultural, there's not only one way to do Christmas and it's possible to bring your own food traditions to the table.

“I would be open to have a Malaysian laksa on Christmas day, with an abundance of seafood, all the way to an ice cream cake or something like panettone. I would definitely do a panettone. In Serbia and the Balkan countries, they would do a seafood soup so I'd happily serve a seafood soup," she suggests.

You’ll also find it’s common for the host to ask guests to bring a dish. Celjo recommends bringing something that you're comfortable making. While she didn't grow up celebrating Christmas in her family, she would often join her friends' families and bring her favourite Bosnian dessert.

“I would always spend Christmas day with my really good girlfriends and their families, their Greek or Italian families, so that was pretty amazing and full of feasting. I would always bring a dessert. I would always make a typical Bosnian dessert. I'd usually do a jam shortbread, like a scone shortbread, which is basically like a scone dough, plum jam-filled and then rolled in icing sugar."

Spending time outdoors:

Because Christmas is in the middle of the summer and school holidays, Australians take advantage of the warm weather to spend time outdoors. People often go for a swim at the beach, have lunch in their backyard or go down to their local park.

“Last year, we went to the park, which was amazing because no one needed to host Christmas at their place. I love that because it's summer, it's very casual, everyone is in a good mood," says Mexico-born Pamela López Arriaga.

Boxing Day:

After presents are exchanged and lunch is eaten on the 25th, many people spend the following day barbecuing and watching the Boxing Day Test match between the Australian national cricket team and an opposing foreign team or the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Brisbane-born Luke Barbagallo says he never misses the Boxing Day Test match: 'Cricket really loomed large growing up. And growing up through the 90s and early 2000, Australia had a really dominant cricket team so Christmas always felt like a really celebratory time of the year and then you'd have the Boxing Day Cricket Test. There was always this sense that Australia was going to win so there was a lot of positivity around that. The Boxing Day Test is the one game of cricket I really watch every year'.

This is how Punjabis living in Australia rung in the festive spirit of Christmas:

It’s a myth that migrants from India don’t celebrate Christmas.

Sunita Khanna, with her group of mostly senior citizens from Melbourne’s Punjabi community, organised a Christmas picnic in a local park. One of her friends even played Santa.

On the other hand, Anhad Singh, a schoolboy from Adelaide earned rich dividends for decorating a Christmas tree and waiting patiently for Santa Claus who 'Visited from the North Pole riding a sleigh pulled by reindeers'. 

Nimrat Preet Singh of Melbourne found a unique way to ring in Christmas by cleaning up his house, washing his car, giving his dog a shower and one to himself too, before settling down for a barbeque.

Arjun Shorey started his Christmas off in an Aussie style – with a barbeque but concluded it in a Punjabi style, with Bhangra, and his Aussie friends joined in too.

'From Remote LNN Site' | Video Story By : Staff-Editor-02

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