In Canberra, we commemorate certain days each year that have particular meaning or national significance.
The Public Holidays we enjoy in Canberra are:
New Year's Day – 1 January
Australia loves to celebrate New Year and in Canberra we celebrate with fireworks by Lake Burley Griffin and celebrations throughout the city.
Australia Day – 26 January
This day marks the founding of the first settlement in our nation by European people and is celebrated with fireworks by Lake Burley Griffin and festivals and celebrations throughout Canberra.
Canberra Day – second Monday in March
To celebrate the birth of the Nation’s Capital in 1913, Canberra comes alive with a festival of events in the lead up to the public holiday, including the Canberra Show and Canberra Balloon Spectacular, culminating in celebrations by Lake Burley Griffin.
Good Friday, Easter Monday – Easter can fall in late March or early April
Easter is an annual Christian event and is enjoyed by most Australians as a four-day holiday weekend starting on Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday.
Anzac Day – 25 April
ANZAC day commemorates the landing in Gallipoli in Turkey of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) in 1915 during World War 1. This day is set apart to hold dear the memory of those who fought for our nation and those who lost their life to war.
Queen’s Birthday – second Monday in June
We celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, who is not only Queen of the United Kingdom but also Queen of Australia, with a three-day weekend.
Family and Community Day – last Monday in September
Celebrated in Canberra, this public holiday is for people to spend time with their family and friends.
Labour Day – usually first Monday in October
As elsewhere in the world, Labor Day originated in Australia as a means of giving ‘working people’ a day off and recognising the roots of trade unionist movements and workers’ rights.
Christmas Day – 25 December
An annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, Christmas is usually enjoyed in Canberra with time off work, the decoration of homes, schools and public places, Christmas Carols, the exchange of gifts, a visit from Santa Claus and traditional Christmas food. Canberra has lots of fun family events throughout the city in the lead up to Christmas.
Boxing Day – 26 December
Celebrated on the first day after Christmas, Boxing Day is also associated with two major sporting events in Australia: The Boxing Day Test – a cricket match held between the Australian Cricket Team and an international touring side at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground); and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race: Australia’s most prestigious yachting race.