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Holidays

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Christmas Tradition

Southern Hemisphere's
Largest Light Display

Over 60 years ago businesses in the small town of Lobenthal in Adelaide Hills, SA started decorating their windows with hand-painted light globes for Christmas.

What started out as only a few businesses on main street has now expanded to an estimated 90% of the entire town, both businesses and homes, that decorate with lights from the 2nd Sunday of December to New Year's Eve. This is when the town celebrates with a festival, the Lights of Lobenthal. Approximately 250,000 visitors come to see it.

Christmas in Australia

In 2008 the longest day of the year in the southern hemisphere will be 21 December. For those of us that live in Australia, that means more daylight hours with temperatures in the mid 30s (100F).

While our northern hemisphere friends, the Americans and the Brits, may be rugging up to keep warm, we're in our shorts trying to stay cool. Even Santa wears shorts.

Speaking of Santa, Aussie children look forward to his arrival in his sleigh pulled by six white boomers.

Never heard of boomers?

They're white kangaroos of course. Thanks to Rolf Harris, we even have a song about our Six White Boomers.

Why are there only six? Our boomers are stronger than reindeer so Santa only needs six of them to pull his sleigh. It's quite sight to see!

Here's a bit of trivia for you.

You know the traditional reindeer lot (Dasher, Dancer, etc.), but how many of you know the names of the six white boomers. For the answer, click on the song link above.

Aside from the presents, Aussie kids look forward to this time of year because they get a six week holiday from school.

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Valentine's Day

During the Australian gold rush period, it's said that the miners ordered extravagantly expensive Valentines. Flush with money, the miners bought the most lavish Valentines costing thousands of pounds. Often it was made of a satin cushion, perfumed and ornately decorated with flowers and even taxidermied birds.

As everyone knows, Valentine's Day is the day you're supposed to show the person you love how you feel.

But did you know that ...

• about 15% of women in the US send flowers to themselves on Valentine's Day. Are Aussie women doing that too?

• around 3% of pets receive Valentine cards from their owners. At least that's the number of people admitting doing it.

• according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 500 million online greeting cards are sent worldwide each year.

And a few superstitions ...

• To be awoken by a kiss on Valentine's Day is considered lucky. Most women we know would feel that way everyday.

• If you see a squirrel on Valentine's Day, you will marry a cheapskate who will hoard all your money. Worried about this one? Come to Australia ... we don't have squirrels.

Queensland Holiday Update

I updated the Queensland calendar we have to reflect the permanent changes made to the Queens Birthday holiday (now in June) and the Labor Day holiday (now in October). The calendar has been extended to 2015.

I also updated the other state & territory calendars.

 

 

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