There’s no denying that the history and diversity of people, language and custom has greatly influenced the unique culture of Christmas Island, as evident in the melting pot of personalities and the range of ethnic festivals and celebrations witnessed throughout the year. Born out of discovery and a more recent colonization, Christmas Island is a peculiar, little-populated dot in the Indian Ocean.
While previously best known as an entry point to Australia for refugees, Christmas Island has both a strange history and unique culture that is slowing becoming more recognised. Reflecting a history that aligns well with its distinct biodiversity, the ethnic makeup of CI are today mainly Chinese, although are not descended from the Island’s first miners. These residents are followed closely by Australians, Europeans, and Malay, whose presences in the community contribute to the collective culture that now exists. As such, the small community of Christmas Island is one that is both remarkably tolerant and humble: there can’t be many other places in the world with two public holidays per year, celebrating both Christian and Muslim holy days, and two for Chinese festivals!
In the spirit of the impending new year, we hope that you all have a safe and happy holidays and that you enjoy each and every festivity – no matter which one you celebrate!