Special Days & Public Holidays
Some public holidays are celebrated in all states & territories, though not necessarily on the same day e.g. Labour Day]. Some apply in individual states or territories [e.g. Canberra Day]. Some only apply to particular areas within a state or territory [e.g Alice Springs Show Day]. All are found through links in the Public Holidays section below.
There are also special days celebrated in Australia from Australia Day through to the ‘the race that stops a nation’, the Melbourne Cup.
Find information about nominated international days. Also included are links to pages on this site for both Easter and Christmas.
Australian Public Holidays
State Public Holiday Listings
- Daylight Saving and Public Holidays in the
Provides dates, a PDF download of these and a link to ACT Government School Term Dates. The site has several previous years data, plus dates for 2 years ahead.
- Public Holidays, NSW
Main data covers 3 years including the current one. Multiple links to : previous dates [currently back to 2013]; Local Public Holidays in NSW; Local Event Days in NSW; Retail shop and bank trading restrictions; iCalendar; and Information for other states. You can also print several of these.
- Public Holidays, NT
NT Public Holidays; Substitute and additional public holidays; and Regional Holidays. Provides a link to School term and holiday dates in NT. Dates for multiple years [currently 3 years].
- Public Holidays, Queensland
Links to Public Holidays; School Holidays; Special holiday dates; Show holiday dates and Public holiday dates for the previous 8 years.
- Public Holidays, SA
Public Holiday dates for one previous, the current and the next 2 years. Multiple downloads covering specific groups of years. Information re Sundays; Part-day public holidays; Bank holidays; Impact on shop trading hours; more.
- Public Holidays in
Listings cover a 3 year period. Also : Statewide public holidays [all of Tasmania]; Substitute holidays; Regional holidays [parts of Tasmania]; Shop trading; School term dates; Daylight saving; Anzac Day trading.
- Public Holiday Dates, Victoria
‘A listing of public holidays in Victoria - 2021-2025; Operating on a Public Holiday; Victorian non-metropolitan public holidays; Public holidays in languages other than English; and you can Visit the Victorian Government website to download the Victorian public holidays dates [iCAL] for use in your calendar. Some years may not be available for download.
- Public Holidays,
Public Holiday dates for 2021-2023. Regional Dates for the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday [and the previous 6 years]; and Public Holiday dates are provided for 5 previous years. Link to School term and school holiday dates for WA.
- 2021 Public Holidays in Australia
Calendar-Australia. ‘The overview below contains all common holidays and observances for Australia in 2021. Besides the official national and local public holidays, other holidays and observances [like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.] are included as well’. Use the buttons at the top of the calendar to go backwards or forwards by year.
- Australian Holidays
Select the year, and country [Australia] then click on ‘Show Holidays’. Several holidays have links to further information. Other options available from the top menu.
- Australian Public Holidays
‘Choose your state in the list [below], or scroll down for a national list of all public holidays’. Provides 4 years of dates for each special day going forward. Use links provided or Popular Holidays and Observances.
- Holidays and Observances in Australia in 2021
Provides listing with date, Weekday, Holiday name, Holiday type and Details [where it is observed if only in one state/territory]. Select from a number of holiday listings, Years [2000-2030], even specific months. Links to Other calendars plus several related links including generating your own copy of the calendar.
- Our Community Calendar
‘The Our Community calendar is used only for nationally significant events’. Provides : event; information about it; phone; email; website; indication if date is still to be confirmed. Covers everything from Schools Tree Day to Pink Ribbon Day and National Kidsafe Day.
- Public holidays and Observances in Australia
‘Date; Weekday; Public holiday name; Public holiday type’. Scroll down the page for several future years [currently to 2024]. Menu on the left provides links to Public Holiday Types and Public Holiday by months.
- Special Dates and Events
A presentation from australia.gov.au. ‘Find information about special events including calendars of events and event finders. Links to : Events and festivals in Australian cities; Calendar of cultural and religious dates; Calendar of environmental events; Events and training for business; and Parliament of Australia - Event Calendar’.
- Public Holidays
From australia.gov.au there are links to Public Holiday listings from all states & territories, including some dependencies. Provides data, plus links to their sources. You can also download the public holiday dataset from data.gov.au .
Australian Special Days
- The history of Anzac Day, celebrations, programs, Turkish viewpoint and other information are found at the Anzac Day page on this site.
- Australia Day [National
Library of Australia]
A unit of work for students at Year 3 level. Links to related resources and activities about Australia and also to other activities for different year levels.
- Australia Day - A History
An annotated timeline from pre-1770 to the Present on how the day has been changed and developed.
- Australia Day,
Invasion Day, Survival Day : What’s in a name ?
‘Survival Day ? Australia Day ? Invasion Day ? Day of Mourning ? Feeling confused yet ? We explain the history and meaning behind these different names for January 26’. SBS television. A second site related to “Australia Day - Invasion Day” is available here.
- National Australia Day Information
National details are found here, while states and territories provide information including information on events, awards, …through the following :
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian of the Year Awards
Covers what the awards are, nominations and recipients [all recipients back to 1962].
Other Special Days
- Birdsville Races
Go into the desert, celebrate and see horse racing. A social occasion. [Cancelled in 2021 but two events in 2022 in April and September.]
- Canberra Day
Provides facts and quotes, brief history, top events and things to do.
- Clean Up Australia
Not a holiday, but ‘cleaning up’ Australia so it is a better place to be. Now exported to other countries. Schools have a special Clean Up Day as well.
- Labour Day
Check calendars for actual dates. Dates for current year, the next year [for all states and territories], plus a list of dates for other years.
- Melbourne Cup
History and other information about the ‘Cup’. ‘The race that stops a nation’. A second site can be found here with dates out to 2035.
- National Tree Day
‘National Tree Day started in 1996 and has grown into Australia’s largest community tree-planting and nature care event. It’s a call to action for all Australians to get their hands dirty and give back to the community’.
- Proclamation Day
Wikipedia. A small page about Proclamation Day in South Australia and a brief comment about the day in Western Australia.
- Proclamation Day [South Australia]
Covers dates till 2023. A second site, The first reading of the proclamation provides additional information about the ‘first reading of the vice-regal proclamation at Holdfast Bay on 28 December 1836’.
- Queen’s Birthday
Check calendars for actual dates. Held on the second Monday in June in all states bar Western Australia [4th Monday in September] and Queensland [1st Monday in October].
- Remembrance Day
Remembering the end of The Great War [World War 1].
- Western Australia [Foundation] Day
Now Western Australia Day. Wide range of information including a Primary School Teacher’s Education Toolkit.
World Special Days
April Fool’s Day
- April Fool’s Day
‘April Fools’ Day, also called All Fools’ Day, is celebrated every April 1st. While it is not officially recognised as a holiday, many celebrate by pranking, or pulling practical jokes on their colleagues, or by organising larger-scale hoaxes’.
- April Fool’s Day 
‘Other names include April Noddy Day, Gowkie Day, Huntigowk Day and St All-Fool’s Morn’.
- April Fool’s Day [All Fools’
‘Origin; Long-standing customs; Pranks; Comparable prank days; Reception; In popular culture; References; Further reading; Embedded links’. Wikipedia.
- April Fool’s Day Origins
Short article with several references.
- The Origin of April Fool’s
Examples and history from the Museum of Hoaxes. Also try their page on The Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time for some fascinating examples of these.
- Bastille Day
- Bastille Day Facts
A range of both general, as well as “interesting”, facts.
- Bastille Day [History.com]
Celebrate the transition from a monarchy to a republic in France, as well as the history of the specific event.
- Bastille Day [Wikipedia]
‘History; Celebrations in other countries; One-time celebrations; Incidents during Bastille Day; References; Other links’.
- What Really Happened on the Original
TIME Magazine article.
Chinese New Year
- Chinese New Year
‘Dates; Traditions; Animal Signs’.
- Chinese New Year 
‘Overview; History; Calendar; Crafts; Traditions; Food; Greetings; Activities’.
- Chinese New Year 
‘Animal; Dates; Celebrations’. History.com
- Chinese New Year in Australia
‘What do people do ?; Public Life; Background; Symbols; Dates for multiple years’; more. You can find details here about the Chinese New Year Sydney, including 2022 Festival Dates, CNY Calendar & Animal [Tiger].
- Lantern Festival - History, Traditions, Activities & Food
‘The festivities for the Chinese New Year are concluded by celebrating the Lantern Festival on the 15th day. With its origin dating back to over 2 000 years, Chinese culture has developed numerous meanings for the festival’. Multiple information topics and sections
- Send a Chinese New Year ePostcard
Multiple choices; add your own thoughts; pre-send to arrive on the day; other options.
- For all information about Christmas, visit the separate Christmas page on this site.
- For all information about Easter, visit the separate Easter page on this site.
- Father’s Day eCards
Multiple choices; add your own thoughts; pre-send to arrive on the day; other options.
- Father’s Day - Wikipedia
‘History; Dates; African traditions; Asian traditions; European traditions; North American traditions; Oceanian traditions [includes Australia]; South American traditions; References; Links’.
- Father’s Day in Australia
‘Is Father’s Day a Public Holiday ?; What Do People Do ?; Background; Symbols; About Father’s Day in other countries; Dates from 2016-2026’.
- Mother’s Day eCards
Multiple choices; add your own thoughts; pre-send to arrive on the day; other options.
- Mother’s Day - Wikipedia
‘Establishment of holiday; Dates around the world; International history and tradition; References; External links’.
- Mother’s Day in Australia
‘Is Mother’s Day a Public Holiday ?; What Do People Do ?; Background; Symbols; About Mother’s Day in other countries; Dates from 2016-2026’.
Day [Lower Primary] - FTfs
‘The following information about Mother’s Day can be found below : Mothers throughout history; How did Mother’s Day begin ?; Mother’s Day around the world; Mother’s Day fast facts; References’.
- 365 Special Days of the Year
The Fact Site. ‘Need a reason to celebrate ? What about 365 reasons to celebrate ? Here we have a strange reason to celebrate every day of the year, all the way from January 1st [Z-Day] to 31 December [Make up Your Mind Day]’ American, but with an interesting touch.
- Book Lovers Day
9th August. ‘In order to truly appreciate Book Lovers Day, one must only find a story and read it. The individual genre of your reading is not the big piece of this, just that you do read is’.
- Celebrations Around the World for Kids
‘The list of 101 holidays includes a diverse range of celebrations, cultural festivals, and international days that raise awareness of social and environmental issues, paired with the holiday dates for 2021’.
- Days Of The Year
Provides information about special days which occur on the selected date [initially set at date of update], plus the special months for the month in which it occurs. Go forward or backward by days, find what special days and months cover your birthday and more.
- Earth Calendar
‘A daybook of holidays and celebrations around the world. For this web site, a “holiday” is any day that recognises a cultural event’. Find by today, or by date, country or religion.
- Holidays and Observances Around the World
‘Public holidays and other special days in 200+ countries. Carefully researched and constantly updated’.
- Holidays Round The Year
Extensive listing of holidays and special days done by months. You should also check their History of Holidays page.
- January - Special Days of the Year
The Fact Site. ‘If you want to find out what events happened on each day in history in January, then click the link on the dates’. Access other months from the link[s] at the bottom of the page.
- List of Holidays by Country
‘Below are lists of public holidays by country or region [countries range from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe]. Current countries; Supranational [e.g. European Union]; Former countries; External links; References’. Wikipedia.
- List of minor secular
‘Days [listed in months - Date, Name, Established by]; Days that vary by location; Weeks - international, national, regional; Months; Years; Decades; Links; more’. Wikipedia.
- New Year’s
Eve Traditions around the World
Discover traditions from different countries of the world, different cultures and even different faiths.
- Safer Internet Day 2021
eSafety Commissioner. ‘On Safer Internet Day 2021 the world came together with a shared vision of making online experiences better for everyone’. There are a wide range of resources available for staff and students from the eSafety Education pages. You can also find out what happens in many other countries via the Safer Internet Day in your country link.
- Special Days and Occasions to Celebrate Each Year
‘Every month is full of days and weeks to observe and celebrate. Many of those days, like Halloween and Mother’s Day, are quite well known while others are not. Have you ever heard of Backwards Day ? Or Look for Circles Day ? These special days can help pique your kids’ interests and stimulate their minds’.
- Today IS a Holiday ! Check it here
‘What Holiday is Today ? and also What Holiday is Tomorrow ? [opens to these]. Also : By month; By Country; Popular; International; Weird [e.g. National Drinking Straw Day, National Walk Around Things Day]; and Upcoming Holidays’. Many have links to further information.
- Worldwide Public Holidays
Select the country of your choice, then use the Upcoming button to select the current or future year. You can also use their Worldwide Public Holidays Listed by Date page.‘Use the links to view the worldwide public holidays for today, tomorrow, this week, next week, or one of the coming months, using the list’ found by clicking on the Select a Time Period button. You can also use their Worldwide Global Holidays and Observances Portal [currently out to 2031] or Worldwide Public Holidays by Continent and World Organisation [currently out to 2031].
Britannica. ‘Introduction, Definition, History, Fast Facts, Media [Video and Images] and Additional Info’.
- Halloween : Origins, Meaning &
‘Ancient origins of Halloween; All Saints’ Day; Halloween comes to America; History of Trick-or-treating; Halloween Parties; Halloween Movies; All Souls Day and Soul Cakes; Black Cats and Ghosts; Halloween Matchmaking and Lesser-known rituals’.
- Halloween [Wikipedia]
‘Etymology; History; Symbols; trick or treating or guising; Costumes; Games and other activities; Haunted attractions; Food; Christian religious observances; Analogous celebrations and perspectives; Around the world; References, Further Reading; Links’.
- Happy Halloween
‘We’ve got Dancing Skeletons, Halloween stories, Halloween Costumes, a celebration of Mexico’s “Days of the Dead”, some ghosts, goblins and “jack-o-lanterns”, videos to go, holiday pictures for the kids to print and colour, and some tasty Halloween recipes to make and enjoy’.
- How Halloween
Everything from a video on the background, Frightening Halloween recipes and on to the Ultimate Guide to Halloween Safety.
Other Special Days
- Boxing Day - Origins
Theories about the origins of Boxing Day. Another site provides A brief history of Boxing Day while for those who prefer a visual presentation, check out Origins of Boxing Day.
- Labour Day
‘International Workers’ Day; Labour Day in a number of countries; References; Links’. Wikipedia.
- May Day
May 1 was initially an ancient festival of spring but now also celebrates International Workers’ Day. See its history. Wikipedia. For an Australian understanding and history of Labour Day/May Day/Eight Hour Day, visit this site.
- Thanksgiving Day
‘Introduction and Quick Facts; Fast facts; Media [videos and images]; Additional Information’ covering origins to the current day. Britannica Encyclopaedia.
- This Day in History
Provides a major historical item plus numerous other events which have occurred on this day throughout history. History.com.
- For information, use this link to the Multifaith Calendar page.
Saint Patrick’s Day
- 30 Amazing Facts About St. Patrick’s Day
‘St Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on 17th March. The day is the observation of the death of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. With these 30 St Patrick’s Day facts, let’s uncover more about this great festival which is celebrated all over the world’.
- St. Patrick’s Day
‘St Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland’ s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century’.
- St Patrick’s Day [StPatricksDay.com]
Introduction; ‘History & Works of St. Patrick [18 sections from 50 Facts to Patrick’s Cross]’.
- Saint Patrick’s Day [Wikipedia]
‘Saint Patrick; Celebration and Traditions; Celebrations by region [including Australia]; Criticism; Sports Events; References; Other Links’.
- The History of St Patrick’s Day
‘7 Surprising Facts About St. Patrick’s Day; History of St Patrick’s Day Parades Around the World; St Patrick’s Day Traditions; History of St Patrick’s Day; Who Was St. Patrick ?’ and more.
Solstices and Equinoxes
- Solstices and equinoxes
: the reasons for the seasons
Bureau of Meteorology. Information regarding these, their dates, history, Indigenous Weather Knowledge and more.
- The Seasons, the Equinox, and the Solstices
National Weather Service, USA. This shows when these occur in the northern hemisphere. The 23.5º tilt of the earth causes these to be at opposite times of the year depending on the northern or southern hemisphere, e.g. Summer solstice in the north when it is Winter solstice in the south. They just occur at the same time.
- What Causes Seasons on Earth ?
While it has this title, there is also broad information on equinoxes and solstices. Use the Equinox & Solstice Worldwide link [top, right] and you can access March and September Equinoxes and June and December Solstices dates up to and including 2026.
Unusual Special Days
The majority of Special Days we have included have quite long histories and have become embedded in our everyday lives. As well as these, there are some days which might be considered “different”. Several of these are included below. You will see what we mean !
- Curious Events Day
‘While the origins of this curious holiday are unknown, we suspect the creators of this day wanted people to stop worrying about the small things in life and focus their attention on all the inexplicable, baffling and peculiar mysteries of the world’ [e.g. crop circles, where do all those socks disappear to after doing laundry, sightings of the Yeti and the Loch Ness monster, … ]. A second page about this is found here.
- Día de los Muertos [Day of the Dead]
‘Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colourful calaveras [skulls] and calacas [skeletons]. Learn how the Day of the Dead started and the traditions that make it unique. It is celebrated on All Saints Day’.
- Friday the 13th
Not only the name of a horror movie but a special day which can appear multiple times in some years. Interesting historical information. You also find out what the word friggatriskaidekaphobia means.
- Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day
‘This day is a reminder to music lovers that there are many special and uncommon instruments just waiting to be discovered’. If you want to, you could consider learning to play a theremin, hydraulophone, citole or gameleste.
- The History of
Valentine’s Day - Why It’s Celebrated
Historical plus related information. Similar information can also be found at The Celebration of Valentine’s Day.
- Valentine’s Day [History.com]
‘Valentine’s Day Facts; History of Valentine’s Day; Who Was the Real St. Valentine ? The Many Myths Behind the Inspiration for Valentine’s Day; Lupercalia; 6 Surprising Facts About St. Valentine’; more.
- Valentine’s Day [Wikipedia]
‘Saint Valentine; Folk Traditions; Connections with romantic love; Celebration and status worldwide; Valentine’s Day in popular culture; Antivalentinism and banning of Valentine’s day in some countries; References; Other links’.
- Global Observances 
‘This page contains a calendar of all 2021 observances instituted by the United Nations and its agencies and recognised in countries across the world. In most cases, these dates are set to the same date each year. Therefore only the day of the week on which they fall changes’.
- International Days & Weeks [United Nations]
‘These are the international days and weeks currently observed by the United Nations. The United Nations designates specific days, weeks, years and decades as occasions to mark particular events or topics in order to promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organisation’. Listed in calendar format by months of the year. Another page in a list format is found here. A similar, though briefer, page from UNESCO is found here.
- International Day of Education
United Nations. ‘The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all’.
- International Women’s Day
Backed by the United Nations, a special day for at least half the world’s population.
- World Children’s Day
United Nations. ‘World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare’.
- World Environment Day
Established by the UN and celebrated on June 5.
- World Health Day
Upcoming World Health Day; Previous World Health Day pages. A day to celebrate health and help improve health around the world. A second source of information is found here.
- World Refugee Day
‘On World Refugee Day, let’s not forget that some day in the future any one of us could be knocking at a stranger’s door hoping to find a safe and friendly shelter’. Celebrated on June 20 each year.
- World Teachers’ Day
‘Held annually on 5 October since 1994. World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation and Education International’.