Celebrate With Me: Australia Day!

how to celebrate australia day(4)

‘Celebrate with me’ is a new feature in which I’ll interview people from around the world about a particular tradition or holiday from their home country. Today we’re talking about ‘Australia Day’ with the lovely Rebecca from Dancing through Sunday!

Welcome! Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Hi! I’m Bec from the blog Dancing Through Sunday. Based in Melbourne, I love to blog about my adventures in my own kitchen and Melbourne’s foodie scene. DTS features wholesome vegetarian recipes to inspire you to get in the kitchen and cooking what makes you (and your belly) smile.

In nutshell Australia day is: a national public holiday. Officially, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson in New South Wales, and raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip. (Basically – the official ‘start’ of Australia as we know it now). Nowadays though, Australia day is more of a celebration of our beautiful country, culture and all things Aussie.

Celebrated in Summer (26th Jan), it’s the perfect day for a BBQ or going down to the beach!

How people usually celebrate: The most typically Australian way to celebrate ‘Straya day’ (as we often call it) is to have a BBQ, near a beach if possible. On the menu: Beer and ‘snags’ (sausages) along with an array of salads, snacks and if you’re really getting into the Aussie spirit..a meat pie or sausage roll.

It’s usually spent with family and friends with a few traditions. An Australian radio station, Triple J started doing the hottest 100 in 1989 and every year since, friends have gathered around a radio and listen to the best songs of the previous year, all day. The count down to number one is always fun, there are bets placed, arguments started and good ole Aussie fun.

How I like to celebrate: For Australia day last year we all played beer pong (how American!), listened to the radio and swam in a blow up pool in the back yard. I made vegetarian sausage rolls because I was damn sick of missing out!

It’s always a fun day to spend with those you hold nearest and dearest and eat some good food. We celebrate Australia as our multicultural, beautiful country and have a bloody good time.

Straya day beer pong
Me playing (and sadly – losing ;) at beer pong

Any funny/embarrassing Australia Day stories to share? Well because the Australian culture loves a beer or three, Australia day always ends up with very passionate debates over #1 song of the year, party food like it’s 1999 and a bunch of drunken fools.

A typical meal/drink to have on Australia Day would be: Sausage rolls and pies, prawns, BBQ type food which would be sausages in bread and big bowls of salads along with beer, white wine and cocktails for the fancy ones ;) A good cheese board is always present and some fish and chips for dinner.

Oh – and of course a good pavlova is a must!


On Australia day people usually dress: very casual. Australians are generally very relaxed so this is the one day a year we embrace that relaxed style. The couch gets dragged out into the back yard, under the sun. Thongs and a t shirt are mandatory (it’s usually hot) and it’s totally fine to laze around in your swimmers!

Thank you so much for answering my questions Rebecca! If you’d like to organize an Australia Day party at home check out the list of essentials below!

Australia Day Party Essentials: An Australian music playlist (or Triple J’s latest top 100), Australian beer or cider (for those who drink alcohol), sausage rolls, meat pies, bbq food (sausages, steaks, vegetables), Australian flags, a pavlova, a cheese board, fish and chips, thongs (flip flops).


  • This is a great idea for a series, but I really think it should also be recognised that Australia Day is referred to as Invasion Day by the first and oft neglected Australians, the Aborigines.

    As a white Australian, I can’t bring myself to celebrate a day that to my fellow citizens meant the bringing of death, disease and mistreatment.

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave this thoughtful comment Taryn. I do
      understand that Australia day is a sensitive issue for some due its origins. However, as Bec mentioned in the interview, the holiday has evolved over the last 200+ years and seems to be now more about enjoying a day with your friends and family and celebrating today’s Australian culture as a whole. Many traditions and holidays throughout the world actually started from tragic or controversial
      events (i.e. Columbus day, Waitangi Day, Thanksgiving to a certain extent) but have evolved to mean something different today. Should the dates of those holidays perhaps be changed so that they don’t refer to those sad events anymore and should we choose new dates to celebrate as a country instead? Perhaps – but I feel that is whole other debate to be honest and not one that I feel equipped to have in this space. Ultimately, I totally respect your decision to not celebrate this day but I also respect the fact that some people might simply see it as a way to come together. Thanks again for stopping by.

  • great post, we had an Australia Day party here in Germany and went to another hosted by a friend. Our Deutsch friends were most confused by the fairy bread!

    • haha I was also confused by fairy bread when I first tried it. I remember a friend bringing it for an 80’s themed party and I was like, what is this? lol Of course, now I’m obsessed with the stuff.

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