Easter 2017

Year Date Day Holiday State
2017 14 Apr Fri Good Friday National
2017 15 Apr Sat Easter Saturday National
(Except TAS & WA)
2017 16 Apr Sun Easter Sunday ACT, NSW & VIC
2017 17 Apr Mon Easter Monday National
2017 18 Apr Tue Easter Tuesday TAS ^^
 

Introduction to Easter 2017

Easter 2017 will be celebrated with the Good Friday public holiday on 14th April and the Easter Monday public holiday on 17th April to create a 4-day long weekend.

Easter is the most looked forward to long weekend of the year and therefore is the busiest holiday period of the year for travelling on our nation’s roads. It is also only one of two ocassions each year when almost all retail stores, restaurants and cafes close on the official public holidays (the other being Christmas).

What is Easter?

The most important events in Christianity are the death and later resurrection of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God, and whose life and teachings are the foundation of Christianity. Easter is the oldest of the Christian festivals and celebrates Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The date of Easter changes as it is based on the lunar cycle. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after the March equinox. This puts Easter Sunday between the end of March and the end of April, depending on the year.

Australia has a unique Easter compared to the UK where many of our Easter traditions are from. Easter in the Northern Hemisphere is a celebration of the beginning of spring and new life. An Australian Easter takes place in autumn and celebrates harvests instead of rejoicing at the coming of spring.

In total, Easter is a celebration that spans a 50-day period. It begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Monday with many Easter-related events in between.

Good Friday – April 14th 2017

Good Friday is the beginning of the Australian Easter holiday long weekend and is the day when Christians commemorate the Crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. During special Good Friday services Christians meditate on Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for their faith.

Good Friday in Sydney

Good Friday in Sydney

Easter Sunday – April 16th for Easter 2017

Easter Sunday is the most important date in the Christian church and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his tomb, Easter Sunday is a joyous event in the Christian calendar. Churches are filled with people more than at any other time of year except perhaps Christmas, with songs and hymns sung and it is also when church bells will be rung again, having been silent during Lent.

Children are given gifts of chocolate eggs and decorated egg hunts occur in homes and gardens. As it is a national holiday, almost all businesses are closed, depending on the regulations of the state or territory. Public transport operates on a restricted schedule in most locations, while in other areas there is no public transport running at all. Across Australia the day is filled with sports and  cultural events. Most citizens spend their some of their Easter holiday either attending or watching some of these events on TV.

Easter Monday – April 17th for Easter 2017

Easter Monday is the last national public holiday related to the Easter 2017 celebrations. Most businesses and all schools are closed and public transportation is either shut down or operating on restricted hours. While the holiday marks Jesus Christ’s resurrection, most Australians use it as a free day to attend events and family dinners.

Easter 2017 Church Services

Easter is one of the two most popular times of the year for Australians to go to church. The most frequented services are on Good Friday morning and Easter Sunday morning. You can find a church with Easter 2017 services by visiting the Church Near You website.

Easter 2017 Events

While most Australian Easter traditions are similar to those of other Western Christian based countries, Australians have adjusted the celebrations slightly to fit our own culture and season. While churches are still flooded with worshipers during the most important holiday of the year; most Easter celebrations are more cultural and sports focused than religious based.

There are events across the country at Easter that are well worth the effort to travel to and enjoy.

New South Wales

  • The 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show is a two-week annual show that will encompass the Easter 2017 long weekend. First held in 1823, it is organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and celebrates the rural industries of the country. Every Easter, the country and city join together at the Sydney Showground, The Show is a celebration of Australian culture, from our rural traditions to our modern day lifestyles, providing unique experiences for everyone. It offers: agricultural competitions, animal experiences, live entertainment, and an amusement park, sideshow alley and fair. It currently attracts over 800,000 people every year..
  • The Main Street of the Snowy Mountains town of Adaminaby will hold an Easter Fair on Saturday 15th April 2017. Its hosts a market, contests including eating competitions and tug-of-war, an Easter bonnet parade, live music and petting zoo.
  • In Ulladulla you can enjoy the annual one of the biggest festivals on the South Coast – The Blessing of the Fleet on Easter Sunday. This was a tradition brought over from Sicily by Italian immigrants in 1956. The Blessing of the Fleet is said to secure an ample catch and that the sailors safe return to port. The day starts with a Festival Parade of floats,  Each float is themed and the parade is followed by the fishermen of Ulladulla all making the pilgrimage to the Harbour for the traditional Blessing Ceremony. There are lots of activities such as spaghetti eating contests and greasy pole climbing contests. The day culminates with a Circus and then a fireworks spectacular.

Victoria

  • A long-running Easter tradition is the annual Rip Curl Pro surfing competition at Bells Beach, Victoria. It is a fantastic way to spend the Easter 2017 long weekend. Full details will be listed at the World Surf League’s website once confirmed.
  • The inland alpine town of Bright hosts a great annual Easter Saturday Rotary Market – “Magical Easter in Beautiful Bright”. This small town and the region draws a crowd at Easter time because of the beautiful Autumn effect of leaves changing their colours and trees losing their foliage to carpet the ground in a sea of red and gold.

Queensland

  • The 2017 Easter Vintage Festival at Highfields Pioneer Village near Toowoomba will take you back in time to see Australia as it was in the early days of colonial settlement. If you want to find out more about Queensland’s heritage (and meet Ned Kelly!). The Highfields Pioneer will give you an authentic look back on Australian history.
  • Easterfest, in Toowoomba, Queensland is another large venue attraction during the Easter 2017 holidays. This is a three day music event that draws more than 20,000 people to Queen’s Park in Queensland each year.

Australian Capital Territory

  • The National Folk Festival is a family oriented event that is held in Canberra on the Easter 2017 long weekend. 100+ concerts are held on over 20 stages. There are workshops, food vendors and craft stalls. Approximately 50,000 people visit the festival each year.

Easter Sporting Events

Easter weekend is the culmination of many high profile sporting events. There are several notable sports events happening around the country over the long Easter weekend celebrations.

One of Australia’s flagship offshore yacht races is the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. It is an icon of Queensland and the highest profile Easter Weekend sporting event setting sail on Good Friday each year. Held annually since 1949 the course runs from  Shorncliffe, in Moreton Bay through to Gladstone harbor with anywhere from between 40 to 100 yachts competing.

Easter Yacht Race

Easter Yacht Race

 

The Stawell Gift is Australia’s oldest and richest short distance running race. It has taken place every Easter weekend since 1878 except for a short break during WWII. The race is run on grass over 120 metres up a slight gradient. Competitors are handicapped according to their form which can pit locals against international runners. The three days event begins on Easter Saturday. There are over 60 heats and the main race finals are held on the holiday Monday with a $40,000AUD first prize.

The meeting is organized by the Stawell Athletic Club every year and takes place at Central Park, Stawell in western Victoria. The finals are televised live around Australia. Gambling is allowed and there are extensive bookmaking facilities.

Stawell

Stawell

Note: ^^ Restricted public holiday in Tasmania. Observed by some awards/agreements and the State Public Service. To check award ring Fair Work Infoline on 131394.