You can’t deny that Christmas equals winter. The holiday season is synonymous with snow, Jack Frost, and winter wonderlands as far as the eye can see. No matter how much Australia may want to try to sell the idea that Christmas in summer is great, it’s not. It’s weird. And we all know it. But while the Northern Hemisphere may have the rest of the world beat on Christmas, New Year’s Eve was absolutely made for the Southern Hemisphere. And as an Australian myself, I'm here to tell you why you’re missing out.
It’s cold and miserable in the Northern Hemisphere on New Year’s Eve. Depending on where you are, it’s raining or snowing, the wind is icy, and the air is crisp and unwelcoming. Not only does this make it extra impossible to get anywhere to do anything fun, but it also means you need to come prepared for all kinds of weather events.
On the other side of the world, the long hot New Year’s Eve day bleeds into a sultry evening. The air is warm, possibly still a touch humid, yet a cool breeze picks up and a light shiver prickles your shoulder. It’s the kind of weather where anything is possible. And New Year’s Eve is all about opening yourself up to possibilities — both of the night and of the impending new year.
Given the spectacular weather, naturally, you need an outfit to match. It’s summer, so you don’t need cumbersome coats, jackets, scarves, beanies, umbrellas, or any other cold weather paraphernalia. In the Northern Hemisphere, you can forget about wearing those strappy heels and trying to get around on the slippery, sodden footpaths and snow banks too.
No, New Year’s Eve weather in Australia was made for that gorgeous little black dress, sexy cocktail attire or cute strappy sundress. Heels, sandals, or hey, even flip-flops are acceptable footwear most places you go.
Yes, the ball drop at New York City’s Times Square is an iconic moment and a bucket list event for many travelers, but it comes at a cost. New York isn’t known for its pleasant winters, so while you’re waiting outside in the freezing cold, spare a thought for those on the other side of the world.
At the peak of summer, the days are long and the nights are warm which means waiting around all day for New Year’s Eve fireworks displays turns into a picnic, an outdoor festival, a few snags on the barbie, or setting up a spot at the beach and just hanging out. It means rooftop parties and harbor cruises or camping in the bush and B.Y.O beers. It’s also music festival season, and ringing in the New Year at Falls Festival is a yearly tradition for many Australians and music lovers. There’s no better place to find whatever kind of celebration you want for New Year’s than summer in Australia.
In Australia, New Year’s is also our summer holidays. It’s like our spring break rolled into fourth of July. Everyone is off school, offices are closed for two (or more) weeks, and everyone is in party mode now that the stresses of Christmas are over but there are still leftovers in the fridge. With the freedom and time to bum around at the beach, hit post-Christmas sales, or catch up on poolside summer reading, everyone’s feeling extra spirited.
So, when we’re already in relaxation mode, and with our generally laid back disposition, when New Year’s Eve rolls around, every major city across Australia goes absolutely wild. And, as one of the first major countries to countdown to the new year, we set the tone for the rest of the world, and we do it with class, style, and a beer in each hand.