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Dec 17, 2009

How to say Merry Christmas in Australia
Often very hot...it's not unusual for Christmas Day in Australia to be 40 degrees Celsius, or over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The traditional Christmas meal includes a turkey and ham dinner followed by plum pudding with brandy custard. Nowadays this heavy meal is left to "Christmas in July" celebrations, when a hot meal can be enjoyed properly. (I was going to describe it as a 'hot and heavy meal' but thought better of it)
Most Australians have their Christmas dinner at midday. Some like to be outdoors, e.g. beach, a bend in the river, or a park. Their Christmas meal might include a big feed of oysters and prawns, a turkey salad, prosciutto with rockmelon, black cherries, watermelon, and (too much) beer and wine. 
Due to fire hazard threats, open fires are often banned. This means the planned barbecue might be called off and Plan B goes into effect. The following video shows more about Christmas Aussie-Style
video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH0vMpp3ma4 

Santa Claus has been know to arrive on a surfboard, in the back of a ute, by helicopter or in a surf lifesaving boat. Everyone's heard of the "Six White Boomers" hauling Santa's sleigh around Australia instead of the regular team of reindeer. If not, listen to the song in this video:
video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlSsffF2xhA 
.
Christmas Tree
by Western Australian doctor Peter Terren,
artist in electricity. See Tesla Down Under. Peter built a Tesla Christmas tree. This photo used a 91 second exposure to show it in action. He also details the project at the site.
.
Carols by Candlelight
- a tradition which commenced in Melbourne in 1937 and is held every year. Thousands of people gather in the cities to sing Christmas carols and other inspiring songs. Australian celebrities get involved, e.g. Olivia Newton-John  hosted the carols in 2000.
Proceeds go to Vision Australia.
VIDEO: The Prayer- Anthony Callea, Carols By Candlelight 2004 Anthony Callea's debut single, The Prayer, created the record for the fastest-selling and highest-selling #1 single by an Australian artist
video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ap_KfD8PeI 
VIDEO: O Holy Night - Melbourne 2007, Carols by Candlelight - here are the lyrics so you can sing along...
  O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
  It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
  Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
  Till He appeared and the Soul felt its worth.
  A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
  For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
  Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angels' voices!
  O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
  O night divine!
  O night, O night divine!

video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX2ZjMwxFiI 
.
NSW Christmas Bush
-an Australian native plant, Ceratopetalum gummiferum Pictured is a NSW Christmas Bush in full flower. Actually in this image the flowers are all gone (they are small and cream) and the red bracts are what creates the stunning Christmas display. This stage lasts for a number of weeks on the bush and for 10 days or so once cut and put in a vase. BUT they drink copious amounts of water daily in a vase. The bush grows into a small tree.
.
Perhaps Australia's worst Christmas was in 1974, when Cyclone Tracey devastated Darwin in the Northern Territory. More than 60 people were killed. Darwin Museum's exhibition: Cyclone Tracy
VIDEO: CycloneTracy 1974 (Santa Never Made It Into Darwin) Cyclone Tracy was a devastating event that affected Darwin intensely... This is a tribute to those that died in the incident, those that survived, those that helped and those that remember the power of nature.

 video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD0DRmWQ65Y  
VIDEO: Original newsreel of the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy which hit Darwin on Christmas 1974. 34 years later, these images are still as horrifying as ever.
 video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B89wBGydSvs  


 

 
 
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Thubten Chokyi
, 3, 2 children
Sydney, Australia
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