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Maundy Thursday in Australia

Maundy Thursday is a Christian observance in Australia. The day, also known as Holy Thursday, occurs during Holy Week and falls on the Thursday before Good Friday. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s last supper and the initiation of the Eucharist, which is observed in many Christian churches.

Communion elements of grapes, cup, bread, and wheat
The Eucharist (or Communion) is offered at Maundy Thursday church services.
The Eucharist (or Communion) is offered at Maundy Thursday church services.
©iStockphoto.com/Wellford Tiller

What Do People Do?

Many churches, particularly Catholic churches, offer services that include the blessing of oils, feet washing and Communion (or Holy Eucharist). Many services are held in the evenings and some services focus on story-telling about the events that occurred prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Some churches offer communal meals after the service. A silent watch or prayer vigil may also be observed.

Many Australians start preparing for the Easter long-weekend break. Some families purchase hot cross buns or chocolate Easter eggs as a treat for their children. Many people start preparing for trips away in the countryside or hinterlands, or beaches that offer a quiet retreat. Byron Bay, in northern New South Wales, is a popular retreat around this time of the year.

Public Life

Maundy Thursday is not a public holiday in Australia so schools, government offices and businesses are open. Public transport providers run to their usual schedules.


Maundy Thursday commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, a Christian sacrament that involves consecrating (or making holy) bread and wine. The term “Maundy” derives from the Latin word for “commandment”. The New Testament in the bible describes events that took place on Holy Thursday. These events include Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and the Last Supper before he was arrested.

Many Maundy Thursday church traditions come from practices that took place in Europe for many centuries. Since the time of the British settlement in Australia in the 18th century, many Europeans who moved to Australia took with them their customs and traditions, including Christian observances such as Maundy Thursday.

About Maundy Thursday in other countries

Read more about Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
ThuApr 12010Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 212011Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 52012Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuMar 282013Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 172014Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 22015Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuMar 242016Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 132017Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuMar 292018Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 182019Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 92020Maundy ThursdayChristian 

Quick Facts

Many Christians in the Australia celebrate Maundy Thursday on the Thursday before Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Name in other languages

Maundy ThursdayEnglish

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in March 2016 in Australia

United Nation Holidays on March 24, 2016

Fun Holiday on March 24, 2016

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