“Hallowthankmas” season in Australia?



Kirby Davis is a current UNI student studying aboard at the University of Newcastle in Australia. She will be contributing to the Northern Iowan with her experiences on the other side of the world.


Editor’s note: Kirby Davis is a current UNI student studying abroad at the University of Newcastle in Australia. She will be contributing to the Northern Iowan with her experiences on the other side of the world.

This time of year is full of one event after the other. First there’s Halloween, fall break, Thanksgiving, winter break and holidays like Christmas at the conclusion of December.

According to Merci Day, a senior mathematics teaching major, “I like Christmas [break] better because there’s more of it and there’s a finality to it.” Winter break is such a relief with the pressures of studying for finals behind us.

However, you can’t find the same excitement in Australia during this time of year. Not only is it spring/summer instead of fall/winter, but according to my Australian Pop Culture professor, Halloween has only started to become a celebrated holiday more similar to American style in the last five or six years.

Needless to say, it feels quite different walking into Big W (similar to America’s K-mart) and seeing only one aisle of Halloween decorations and costumes as opposed to the whole store engulfed in the holiday. According to Maddy Leary, a first year civil engineering major, her family always bought “lollies” (candies) for Halloween just in case kids stopped by.

So without much Halloween hype, what about Thanksgiving? To some Americans, Thanksgiving is about celebrating when the Native Americans and pilgrims gave thanks and feasted together. To others, it’s about giving thanks, eating a giant feast with your family and Black Friday shopping. However, not many know about the holiday in Austrailia.

“I don’t know what it’s all about really, just that you get together with your family and eat lots of food,” Leary said. This is essentially the common depiction in the movies and true of many families. Therefore, since Thanksgiving isn’t very sought after in Australia because they don’t celebrate it, that leaves Christmas and other holidays in December to make up for the season’s excitement that is happening in America.

Are they really that excited for Christmas in the middle of summer? The answer in short is yes. “As for Christmas, I love it! I love being in my swimmers [swimsuit] all day on Christmas, lying by the pool,” Leary said. “Then having a huge feast for lunch and heading down to the beach in the afternoon to cool off again!”

Is it just me or does that sound almost strange? No snow, cold weather or white Christmas? It’s a strange concept to think about since I’ve always grown up with a snow white, Iowa Christmas. But to Australians, it’s just not, although the concept of snow does intrigue some. “I guess I’ve always wanted to have a white Christmas but I like Australian summer Christmas,” said Sara Hincks,  a first year law and social science major.

So in the end, what part of the Hallowthanksmas season excites you? Are you an American who celebrates Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the cold of the snow? Or are you an Australian who loves the heat of summer while you celebrate Christmas?