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Easter Monday in Australia

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday. It is a public holiday throughout Australia each year.

Is Easter Monday a Public Holiday?

Easter Monday is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Easter Monday Australia
Easter Monday is a popular day for music festivals that attract many Australians.
Easter Monday is a popular day for music festivals that attract many Australians.
©bigstockphoto.com/katatonia82

What Do People Do?

Many people spend Easter Monday with family or friends, carrying out home maintenance or attending sports matches. Easter Monday is the last day of many music festivals held during the long weekend. These include the National Folk Festival, the Byron Bay East Coast Blues and Roots Bluesfest, the Australian Gospel Festival and a range of local events.

A number of large sporting events end on Easter Monday. These include: the Stawell Easter Gift athletics competition; the Three Peaks Race, which consists of sections sailing around Tasmania and sections running up and down three mountains on the island; the Easter Racing Carnival in Sydney; and the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. Other events, including horse race meetings in Melbourne and major football fixtures, are held on Easter Monday.

Many people enjoy the Easter eggs that they received during the weekend. They may also eat an Easter bilby, a chocolate model of a small, endangered mammal native to Australia. A recent campaign attempted to persuade children that the Easter bilby, rather than the Easter bunny, brings Easter eggs. This is because rabbits are seen as pests that destroy natural habitats and agricultural crops.

Public Life

Easter Monday is a public holiday throughout Australia. Schools, businesses and other organizations are closed. Many large stores and shopping centers are closed. Small stores and those selling building materials, household goods or motor vehicle parts may be open. If they are open, they may have shorter trading hours than on regular Mondays.

Public transport services are often restricted and may not run at all. There may be congestion on the roads and at airports as people return from vacations and when sports and cultural festivals end.

Background

Easter Monday is celebrated as a holiday in many Christian cultures. In previous times, the Easter celebrations often lasted eight days. This period was known as the Octave of Easter and is still called that in some church calendars. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. In many places, there were egg rolling competitions and people poured water over each other. This may have originated in the Catholic custom of taking holy water, which had been blessed on Easter Sunday, home to sprinkle on the house and food. Gradually, the celebrations in the week after Easter became shortened to just the Monday after Easter. The custom of a holiday on this day was brought to Australia by the early English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish settlers.

About Easter Monday in other countries

Read more about Easter Monday.

Easter Monday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonApr 5Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2011MonApr 25Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2012MonApr 9Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2013MonApr 1Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2014MonApr 21Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2015MonApr 6Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2016MonMar 28Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2017MonApr 17Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2018MonApr 2Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2019MonApr 22Easter MondayNational Holiday 
2020MonApr 13Easter MondayNational Holiday 

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