At a loss for ways to celebrate Australia Day in the US? If you don’t have Aussie friends or a community around you, you might end up feeling like there’s no one to share the joys of being from The Great Southern Land.
There’s no reason why you can’t take the celebrations to work and make everyone an honorary Aussie for the day. Otherwise, check out my guides to Australia Day expat gatherings in the US and finding Aussie communities in San Francisco or across the US!
Disclosure: I won’t celebrate Australia Day on the 26th, because I don’t think it’s inclusive of all Australians, and it represents the beginning of all the bad things that colonisation meant for the Aboriginal people.
That, however, doesn’t mean that I won’t celebrate it on January 23rd, along with the Triple J Hottest 100 (OK so it’s the 22nd here). I’m not adding this to be political or controversial. It’s just how I feel about it all, you’re free to celebrate it when or however you want to.
This post was first written in January 2018, and was updated in January 2021.
1. Confuse an American Competition
This one is great if you have a bunch of Aussies to witness your prowess with bogan slang. You can either take turns or get together in a pub or somewhere similar and embark on this as a group.
What’s more patriotic than celebrating Australia Day in the US by taking the piss out of Americans? The answer to that is nothing.
Here’s what you do: walk up to an American and string together the most bogan sentence you can think of. Basically one that you’d never even say within the bounds of our “girt by sea” nation.
Keep a straight face while they look at you with a bewildered expression. Walk away or see how long you can keep it up before cracking up.
If you need some help putting something together, check out my post on Aussie words and phrases that Americans don’t understand.
Or watch this clip:
Whoever gets the best reaction out of the poor, unsuspecting Yank wins. You should probably shout the winner a beer as well, just to keep things typically bogan.
2. Swap the barbie for cold weather comfort
Yeah, you heard right, I said ditch the BBQ. Hear me out before you start scrambling to shun this suggestion.
This time of year in lots of parts of the US is not pleasant. It’s cold, rainy, windy and in a lot of places it’s icy and snowy. So who really wants to stand outside on BBQ duty? Not me.
And even if you have a garage do you really want to suffocate from the smoke? Instead, go for something using Aussie ingredients, that’s delicious and even your US mates will love.
Here are 9 easy Aussie and New Zealand recipes for beginners to start you off!
3. Watch an Aussie TV show or movie
Start with The Castle! It’s an Australian classic, a movie that stands the test of time and transcends generations. In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and… aah no, that’s it… it’s the vibe. I rest my case.
The Kerrigan family first graced our screens two decades ago and they’ve had a special place in our true blue hearts ever since.
This is much more fun if you watch it with people from other countries and refuse to explain any of it. Just watch them. It’s doubly hilarious. Then spend the rest of the week walking around asking “How’s the Serenity?” and saying things like “This is going straight to the pool room” and “Tell him he’s dreamin’!”.
You can try the same with Muriel’s Wedding but I think it might be more of an acquired taste. We’ve got a handy list of Australian TV shows to watch in the US and Australian movies to watch online from the US.
4. Get a pie inya
Nothing will make you feel like you’re back home at the footy or at the school canteen then a meat pie or a sausage roll.
You can make your own and there are plenty of recipes out there to help you do it, or you can bypass all of the fuss and annoyance of “soggy bottoms” by buying some.
Support one of the many Aussie expat-run bakeries across the USA and order some meat pies, sausage rolls, and lamingtons for a real treat. Find out where to get the best pies and sausage rolls in the US here.
5. Watch the Lamb Ad
While we’re on the topic of food, let’s talk about lamb. Depending on where you live in the US, it can get pretty pricey and difficult to find.
But sometimes only a lamb roast will do to celebrate Australia Day in the US, so what are you to do?
First of all, convince your family/friends that you NEED a lamb roast otherwise it’s not really Australia Day. You can do that by making them watch this year’s lamb ad. Or go straight to 2016’s version, which is my favourite and I’ve helpfully provided for you.
Now get yourself to Costco or a specialty butcher and spend some of your hard-earned dosh on that leg of lamb. It’s only once a year. It’s worth it!
6. Listen to some killer tunes
It’s not a party without some killer tunes and we all know that the only place to get them is on Triple J.
When we were younger, we’d wish each other a Happy Hottest 100 Day because it seemed a little more fitting to us. Especially since we had to work that day. No beach for farmers.
Anyway, no matter the time of day or night, crack a tinnie, kick back and listen to the best songs of last year. Get your mates round and bet on the top song or where your favourite will come out in the list.
Dance till dawn and if you’re really brave, set up a kiddie pool in the house. Just go to the JJJ website and click Listen Live to stream!
7. Tim Tam Slam Comp
Any gathering brings out my competitive spirit, but this one really speaks to me since it combines talent and wit with eating.
Get yourself a value pack of Tim Tams at the very least, and if you don’t have a gathering to get to, take them with you to work.
Explain the concept to all those poor people who haven’t yet had the good fortune to meet a Tim Tam or use them on a competitive basis.
When you inevitably win, let it be known that you will require the other participants to supply you with a replacement Tim Tam packet.
8. Wear the Green & Gold
On any other day I’d ask if you were OK if I saw you in the street wearing green and gold. Or I’d stop and wonder whether the Olympics were on.
But on Australia Day, you can find your most patriotic clothing and wear them proudly. It doesn’t have to be too crazy on the colourful scale. A necklace or a tie will do.
Or, maybe your green and gold flip flops? Thongs for us purists.
9. Roach Races
This is here especially four our New Yorker Aussies. You know how some pubs in Australia hold races with the weirdest animals to celebrate Australia Day?
Well here’s the New York equivalent. Capture as many of the little vermin as you can and keep them in a shoebox till the big day.
Then create a little racetrack and bet on which creepy crawly will make it to the finish line the fastest. Personally I won’t be doing this because roaches are my worst nightmare, but I’m sure someone out there will be game!
10. Listen to Aussie Podcasts
My favourite thing to do, Australia Day or not, is to listen to Australian podcasts. It gives you a nice hit of Aussie accents and makes you feel like you’re a bit more in tune with what’s going on back home.
Comedy is my bag so my recommendations will basically be the funny ones:
- TEAM Effort Podcast with Ed Kavalee
- Wilosophy with Wil Anderson
- Ten Questions with Adam Zwar
- Bang On with Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe
**Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links you don’t pay a cent more, but I receive a small commission, that is put towards the running of this blog.