Australia Public Holidays 2024: Full List of National/State Dates Australia Public Holidays 2024: Full List of National/State Dates

Should you plan to visit Australia in May 2024, you might be curious to know when the public holidays are. Public holidays see people off from work and the majority of businesses, including schools, closed. They also present excellent opportunity to take part in fun festivals and events and experience Australian traditions and culture.

Public holidays can, however, also affect your travel plans due to higher prices, more people, and limited availability of services and attractions. Before booking a trip, find out which public holidays are observed in your state or area of interest.

This page will list Australia's public holidays for May 2024 together with some tips on how to make the most of them.

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May 2024 Australia Calendar: Important Days, Full List of National Holidays and International Events
May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events

May 2024 Calendar: Special Days, National and International Events Happening in Australia

May 1 - May Day

Communities and organizations can use May Day as a platform to advocate for better working conditions and worker rights. The fight for an eight-hour workday gave rise to this day, which honors workers' rights. The Second International, a union and socialist party organization, founded May Day in 1889, which stands for a strong sense of solidarity among workers all over the world. The day's main themes are equality, human rights, and unity.

Australians celebrate May Day annually with a variety of activities organized by labor unions and other organizations, such as marches, rallies, and community gatherings. Every year on May Day, thousands of workers and their families gather in East Sydney for an annual march. The official celebration of May Day in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, and some regions of Western Australia is Labor Day, a public holiday that falls on the first Monday in October. This celebration is closely linked to the theme of worker's rights and the continuous fight for decent working conditions.

May 3 - St James TL / St Philip

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Saint Philip and Saint James

The Christian holiday known as the Observance of Saint Philip and Saint James the Lesser honors these two important figures. As apostles of the faith, both individuals are honored for their contributions and services. In honor of their lives and deeds, the observance day consists of a variety of religious ceremonies and community gatherings. While Saint James the Lesser—often referred to as James the Just—is revered for his leadership within the early Christian community, Saint Philip is known for his teaching and missionary work.

These days, the Anglican and Catholic churches in Australia are the main venues for a variety of customs and ceremonies commemorating this holiday. These could include community meetings, private prayer sessions, and special church services. Some people take advantage of this day to give to charity, following in the footsteps of the apostles who dedicated their lives to helping others. May 3rd is dedicated to the Observance of Saint Philip and Saint James the Lesser, a significant part of Australia's Christian heritage that combines historical tradition and modern practice.

May 3 - World Press Freedom Day

We commemorate World Press Freedom Day, or World Press Day, on May 3rd each year. This United Nations holiday honors press freedom, draws attention to its significance, and serves as a reminder to governments of their obligation to protect the fundamental right of individuals to free speech.

Since some nations still imprison journalists for refusing to release specific information to the public, many journalists and media professionals risk their lives and freedom in the course of their work. The goal of World Press Freedom Day is to end that and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives as a result of their line of work.

May 4 - Free Comic Book Day

On the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day is observed annually.

Every year, comic book stores from all over the world get together to give away free comic books to their patrons.

The purpose of the day was to raise awareness of the comic book industry and to entice more and more people to visit their neighborhood comic book stores.

Despite having started in North America, comic book stores now take part in the event from Australia to the United Kingdom. The day has grown to such an international renown that comic book retailers participate from over 60 nations.

May 5 - Orthodox Easter

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Christians observe Easter Day, also known as Pascha, and the Sunday of the Resurrection on the dates set forth by the ancient Julian calendar, which differ from the dates set forth by the Gregorian calendar.

The most significant day on the church calendar is Easter. Easter Sunday church services are joyful celebrations of both spiritual victory and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to Christian doctrine.

Easter Sunday, observed by Orthodox Christians, is not a federal public holiday in Australia. But it takes place on a Sunday, which is a day off for most Australians who don't work or attend school. In places where Sunday trading is allowed, especially in large cities, Sunday trading hours still stand.

May 5 - Cinco de Mayo

Every year on May 5, people celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a holiday honoring the Mexicans' victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in the 1862 Franco-Mexico War.

"The fifth of May" is how the phrase "Cinco de Mayo" is translated. The celebration honors Mexican culture in America and has grown in popularity in the US rather than Mexico.

Since Cinco de Mayo is not a public holiday, businesses and schools are open as usual.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is observed everywhere there is a Mexican community or people who enjoy Mexican cuisine and culture, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and other places. There are decorations and banners available, and schools will host programs and events to teach children about the cultural and historical significance of Cinco de Mayo.

May 6 - Labour Day (Queensland only)

Annually, Labor Day is observed as a public holiday to commemorate the eight-hour workday, which was established as a victory for laborers in the middle to late 1800s. The need for each person to get eight hours of work, eight hours of recreation, and eight hours of rest served as the foundation for the eight-hour day argument.

Eight-Hour Day in Tasmania and May Day in the Northern Territory are the modern names for Labor Day in Australia. It always falls on a Monday, extending the weekend. Parades and marches now mostly take place in Queensland, though they don't always happen there depending on the state government in power at the moment.

May 6 - Yom HaShoah

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

On the 27th day of the month of Nisan, a lot of people in Australia celebrate Yom Hashoah, including those with Jewish connections or ancestry. A lot of Jewish communities commemorate the victims of the Holocaust who perished in World War II with ceremonies or events.

During Yom Hashoah, synagogue services are held in Australia, with varying rituals. Reciting prayers and lighting memorial candles are two possible activities. Holocaust survivors might tell people about their experiences as well. Academics that specialize in human rights issues convene in discussion forums to deliberate on the aftermath of the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah may also see the opening of Holocaust-themed exhibitions and books.

May 9 - Ascension Day

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Ascension Day

The celebration of Ascension honors Jesus Christ's entry into heaven. Christian denominations all across the world commemorate this occasion to reaffirm the conviction that Jesus went back to heaven to prepare a place for his disciples. Believers can consider the teachings of Christ, his earthly ministry, and the fulfillment of biblical prophecies.

The Ascension celebration has its roots in the early Christian Church. Scripture alludes to Jesus' ascension, which his disciples saw take place forty days after his resurrection. These references are found mainly in the Gospels of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. The celebration began in the fourth century and has since developed into a significant part of the liturgical calendar. Many traditions have developed over time to celebrate Ascension, including processions, uplifting songs, and the release of balloons or birds.

Like in most of the world, Australia celebrates the Ascension forty days following Easter Sunday. It can be observed on the actual day, also known as Ascension Day or Holy Thursday, or on the Sunday after, also known as Ascension Sunday, depending on the denomination. This incident highlights Christ's deity and acts as a reminder of his promised return, giving believers hope and faith.

May 12 - Mother's Day

On the second Sunday in May, Australians give their mothers flowers and postcards as a way of celebrating Mother's Day.

Although it's not a public holiday, the United States observes a legal national holiday on the second Sunday in May.

Mother’s Day is observed in over 50 countries worldwide, though not all of them do so on the same day.

Several nations, including Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and Belgium, observe Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. Every year on May 10th, Mexico and a large portion of Latin America celebrate Mother's Day. It is observed in Thailand on August 12, which also happens to be the current Queen's birthday.

Given that chrysanthemums are in season in May, which is autumn in Australia, mothers have traditionally received them as Mother's Day gifts. In observance of mothers, men frequently wear chrysanthemums in their lapels.

Wearing carnations is also customary on this day; a colored carnation symbolizes a mother who is vibrant, and a white carnation honors the memory of mothers who have passed away.

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May 14 - Yom HaAtzmaut

Certain Jewish families observe Yom Ha'Atzmaut by saying special prayers. Some educational programs may be offered to students so they can learn about Yom Ha'Atzmaut. Children are expected to wear blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag, to school in certain Jewish schools.

In recent years, Yom Ha'Atzmaut has been celebrated with concerts in cities like Perth and Melbourne. These events showcased both international music stars with Israeli origins and local Jewish talent. In the past, a few Australian evangelical Christians have observed Yom Ha'Atzmaut as a way to support Israel and Jewish communities. Reactions to this have been conflicting, evoking both support and criticism.

May 15 - Int'l. Day of Families

The purpose of the International Day of Families is to raise awareness of the value of families as the cornerstone of society. Throughout the day, several facets of family life—such as education, health, and social wellbeing—will be highlighted with the goal of promoting the general well-being of families and individuals. Diverse communities and organizations collaborate globally to produce events that increase awareness, offer resources, and fortify the family ties that underpin our societies.

The International Day of Families is widely observed in Australia, where family values are celebrated and efforts are launched to enhance the general well-being of Australian families. Communities and organizations join together to create a day that highlights the value of family in all facets of our lives, with an emphasis on social issues, health, and education. Every year on May 15th, families and individuals from all over the world come together to celebrate the important role that families play in our society as part of the International Day of Families.

May 19 - Pentecost

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Pentecost (White Sunday)

Fifty days after Easter is when Christians celebrate Pentecost, also called Whitsunday.

Its roots are in the Jewish custom of the Festival of Weeks, but it also honors the moment when Jesus ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit descended upon his Apostles.

Red is the primary color associated with Pentecost. This color is used to decorate altars, and priests wear matching vestments. The color red represents joy as well as the Holy Spirit's fiery tongues.

Numerous people get baptized during Pentecost, a custom that originated from the fact that many people became Christians following the first Pentecost.

May 20 - Whit Monday

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Whit Monday

Many Christians in Australia commemorate the events that followed the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' disciples, as recorded in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, on Whit Monday and Whit Sunday, also known as Pentecost.

In observance of Whit Monday, churches may host evening services, bible studies, and Sunday school classes with an emphasis on educating kids about the history and significance of Whit Monday and Whit Sunday. In Australia, a lot of churches celebrate Whit Monday as a part of Whitsun Week, also known as Whitsuntide, which also includes Whit Sunday, also known as Pentecost.

Many Orthodox Christian communities in Australia, particularly the Greek Orthodox churches, observe Whit Monday a day or two later than the date that Australia's western churches do. This is as a result of some Orthodox churches continuing to observe holidays according to the Julian calendar, which was in use before churches in the West started using the Gregorian calendar extensively.

May 26 - Trinity Sunday

The first Sunday following Pentecost is designated as Trinity Sunday or the Feast of the Holy Trinity. Christians commemorate the Holy Trinity—God the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—on this feast day.

Since Trinity Sunday is not a federal holiday, businesses and schools are typically open.

The purpose of the mass liturgy on Trinity Sunday is to honor the Holy Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Churches will be decked out in white, the liturgical color for Trinity Sunday, and frequently with images representing the Holy Trinity. This could be the more popular triangle with overlapping oval loops, or other Trinity symbols, such as a crown for the Father, a lamb for Jesus, or the dove, which is commonly understood to represent the Holy Spirit.

May 26 - Lag B'Omer

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
Lag B'Omer

For many Jewish Australians, Lag B'Omer is a happy day because it marks the end of the mourning customs that apply during the Omer period. Some Australian Jewish education organizations offer printed or online materials to teach students about the significance of Lag B'Omer. Fact sheets, tests, lessons for various age groups, games, and enjoyable learning activities are a few examples of resources.

On Lag B'Omer, many Jewish communities in Australia celebrate, especially in the bigger cities like Melbourne. A fair with stilt walkers, fire trucks, army jeeps, and marching bands is one possible event. Other forms of entertainment could be park concerts, rides on horses or camels, food vendors, and float parades. The celebrations of Lag B'Omer also include bonfires.

May 26 - National Sorry Day

May 2024 Australia Calendar: Special Days, Full List of National and International Events
National Sorry Day

On National Sorry Day, people remember the abuse that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children suffered when their families were taken from them. This period of time, from 1910 to 1970, is referred to as "The Stolen Generations." In 1998, National Sorry Day was instituted following a report presented to the Australian Parliament that brought attention to the 20th-century theft of at least 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Every year on May 26th, National Sorry Day is observed to remember its inception.

May 27 - Reconciliation Day

Reconciliation Day
Reconciliation Day

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Reconciliation Day is observed on the first Monday on or after May 27, starting in 2018. It takes the place of the Family and Community Day celebration, which took place on this day until 2017.

Reconciliation Day is the first day of National Reconciliation Week, which is observed nationally, even though it is only a public holiday in the ACT. The holiday was established on May 27, 1967, after a referendum in which ninety percent of Australians supported changing the country's constitution to include provisions for indigenous peoples.

In particular, the amendments expanded parliament's jurisdiction to include indigenous Australians and made them part of the official census. Although the indigenous population of Australia was supposed to benefit from this, the outcomes of this jurisdiction saw conflicting results in the decades that followed.

May 30 - Corpus Christi

While some Anglican churches in Australia also commemorate Corpus Christi, the Roman Catholic Church is the primary celebrant of this occasion. At this time of year, a lot of church choirs perform Corpus Christi-themed music. Students can take classes in Sunday schools and Catholic schools, in particular, to learn about the significance and history of Corpus Christi.

On this day, a lot of Christians—especially those who practice Catholicism—take Communion. During Corpus Christi, some people—children in particular—receive their first Communion. The Eucharist is a practice where Christians accept consecrated bread and wine (or grape juice), which they believe to be the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Following a church service, some churches host social events and Corpus Christi processions. In recent times, cities like Sydney have witnessed processions in which thousands of people have taken part. These processions, which typically include choirs and bands performing, are frequently extended invitations to special guests. While some churches may celebrate Corpus Christi on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday, it usually occurs on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday.

May 31 - World No Tobacco Day

Every year, World No Tobacco Day is observed to promote effective tobacco-reduction policies and increase public awareness of the health hazards linked to tobacco use. This celebration aims to inform the general public about the dangers of tobacco use, the business strategies used by tobacco companies, and the measures taken by governments to combat the tobacco epidemic. People have the chance to unite on World No Tobacco Day in order to advance a tobacco-free society.

The World Health Organization (WHO) first instituted World No Tobacco Day in 1987. Since tobacco use is still a major preventable cause of death and disease in Australia, World No Tobacco Day is especially important there. The Australian government has put policies into place like taxing cigarettes more heavily and requiring tobacco products to be packaged plainly.

May 2024 Holidays and Celebrations in Australia - Full List

  • 01WED

    Aussie Wine Month

  • 01WED

    Marshall Islands Constitution Day

  • 03FRI

    World Press Freedom Day

  • 04SAT

    Free Comic Book Day

  • 05SUN

    Cinco de Mayo

  • 05SUN

    World Laughter Day

  • 09THU

    Ascension Day

  • 12SUN

    Mother's Day

  • 12SUN

    International Nurses Day

  • 12SUN

    Mother's Day In Australia

  • 15WED

    National Families Week

  • 15WED

    International Day of Families

  • 18SAT

    International Museum Day

  • 19SUN


  • 20MON

    Whit Monday

  • 21TUE

    International Tea Day

  • 22WED

    International Day for Biological Diversity

  • 26SUN

    Trinity Sunday

  • 26SUN

    National Sorry Day

  • 27MON

    National Reconciliation Week

  • 28TUE

    National Burger Day

  • 30THU

    Corpus Christi

  • 31FRI

    World No Tobacco Day

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