New Year’s Day is celebrated on 1st January each year in all states and territories; although for many people, New Year’s Day is simply a time to recover from New Year’s Eve parties the night befor. Others, however, use the day to travel home to end the summer vacation or to spend time with family members.
The New Year’s Day holiday is movable, which means that if 1st January is a Saturday or Sunday, then the holiday moves to Monday, January 2nd or 3rd. Across the country, most shops and businesses are closed (schools are on summer holiday) and public transport is limited significantly.
Due to its geographical position close to the International Date Line, Australia is one of the first countries in the world to welcome in the New Year, so although the December 31st is not a public holiday, it is the day most Australians prepare for one of the biggest parties of the year.
Each major city in Australia and most towns and many homes put on celebrations usually accompanied by fireworks and other events, to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next and then continue partying into the small hours of the first day of the year.
In Sydney, for example, the start of the New Year is heralded by a massive fireworks display. Sydney Harbor Bridge is lit up with more than 80000 fireworks creating an extraordinary and unforgettable experience for the spectators. It is estimated that one to one-and-a-half million people watch the display at the Sydney Harbour. The display can be viewed anywhere within a radius of 16 km. around Sydney.
People who enjoy horse racing may watch or bet on the Perth Cup which is the premier horse race for Western Australia. The race is run over 3200 metres (just over two miles) at the Ascot Racecourse in Perth. The prize money for the race totals A$400,000.
As New Year’s Day is generally a very hot day all over Australia others will probably enjoy that traditional summer public holiday activity in Australia – the Aussie Barbecue – this is the main type of eating that happens across the country on this day.