Christmas Island events
Christmas Islanders love a celebration, and being on the island for one of its many festivals is a memorable experience.
Christmas Island’s diverse cultural mix means the community enjoys numerous festivals and religious events through the year.
Some of the things you might see being celebrated are:
- Chinese New Year – commencing in January or February, this 15-day festival sees Christmas Island come alive with lanterns and lion dances.
- Vesak Day – Buddha’s birthday is usually observed on the full moon in May.
- Hari Raya Puasa – marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims.
- Hungry Ghost Festival – falling in August or September, the Hungry Ghost Festival is a time when Buddhists and Taoists make offerings to wandering spirits.
- Moon Festival – this Chinese festival in September or October is celebrated with lanterns and sweet mooncakes.
- Maulad Nabi – commemorates the birth of the prophet Mohammed.
- Temple gods’ birthdays – each of island’s Chinese temples celebrates the birthday of their main god. Dates vary from year to year, so check with the Visitor Centre for this year’s dates.
- Christmas – the island was named on 25 December 1643, making Christmas an extra-special event around town. Expect light displays, carols by candlelight, plenty of parties and a visit from Santa himself.
Photo: Linda Cash / Christmas Island Tourism Association
- Christmas Island Open – Held in May every year, this golf tournament brings players from all over the world to the Christmas Island Golf Club.
- Bird ‘n’ Nature Week – Every September, bird-lovers flock to Christmas Island for a full week of events that includes guided tours, field trips and expert talks.
- Territory Day celebrations – A week-long event in early October, these celebrations commemorate Christmas Island becoming an Australian territory in 1958. It’s a lively affair with market stalls, fancy dress, sports events, music, dancing and the famous raft race.
- Christmas Island Marathon – Held in September or October, this internationally listed running event takes competitors through the jungle and along the coast.