New Year’s Day is the first day of the calendar year and is celebrated on 1 January each year.
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In Australia, the day is marked by a public holiday but, for many, it’s simply a day of recovering from the night before – New Year’s Eve. The public holiday of New Year is movable, meaning that if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the following Monday becomes the public holiday. In most states of Australia, most shops are closed and public transport is reduced significantly.
Although the day of December 31st is not a public holiday, it is the day most Australians prepare for one of the biggest parties of the year. Each capital city, most towns and many homes put on celebrations to mark the end of one year and the first moments of the next. In many places, fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve usher in the New Year. People sing, cheer, toast (take drinks) and party into the small hours of the first day of the year. On New Year’s Day many towns and cities run events. For example, in Perth the premier horse race for Western Australia, the Perth Cup, is run on this day. It is held at Ascot Racecourse and has a large purse for the winners. Horse racing is also prominent in Victoria. ‘Racing at the Rock’ is thoroughbred racing in the natural amphitheatre of Hanging Rock. It includes a fun and lazy day of food, wine, entertainment and activities for children alongside the race track. A summer public holiday in Australia would be empty without the Aussie Barbecue and this is the main type of eating that happens on this day across the country.
Significantly, New Year’s Day is generally a very hot day all over Australia although it is not unusual for there to be rain also. The average temperatures in January range from the high 20’s to high 30’s in degrees Celsius with the hottest areas being in the horizontal mid-band of the country.