Queen's Birthday - marks the start of the ski season in Australia?

Obligatory link:


**Bricker ** you say:

"Most of Australia observes the Queen’s Official Birthday on the second Monday in June, giving workers a three-day weekend and marking the start of the ski season. "

In Australia, skiiing is a tiny minority sport, with very little presence in popular consciousness. It’s like saying a particular US holiday “marks the start of the swamp buggy racing season”.

Just a heads-up, Princhester; by my calculations, you should be getting a letter of protest from the General Secretary of NASBAR* some time within the next week.

National Association of Swamp* Buggy A**utomobile Racing.

Of course.

From Wikipedia:

Thanks for this interesting article Bricker. I’m not quite sure that I agree with your comment that

This seems to imply that the start of the ski season drives the date of the Queen’s Birthday holiday. I think it’s more likely to have been the other way round. The holiday was historically held on the first Monday in June and this came to be regarded as the start of the ski season.

Perhaps you could also have corrected the inaccurate comment in the original question that

I think that wiki entry was written by someone who skis (ie who is in a minority) and their own particular bias has coloured what they have seen as important. I don’t doubt that those into skiiing would consider that skiing season officially starts on the QB weekend, but I think most here would consider the QB weekend is just the QB weekend. In the absence of evidence I would think it vanishingly unlikely that the QB date was set by reference to skiing.

This is pretty much what I came in here to say. There’s almost no skiing here in Australia, and it’s generally cheaper to go to NZ anyway,

I also wanted to mention that, in fact, this is the first I’ve ever heard of Queen’s Birthday marking the start of the skiing season in either country, and I’ve lived in both of them all my life.

Well, if enough folks from Down Under are saying that skiing isn’t much of a factor, I guess I’ll buy it.

And I considered commenting on the colonoes comment, but thought it was too far afield from the real point of the column, so I let it slide…

I would respectfully suggest that, in the interests of A) Fighting Ignorance and B) Factual accuracy that perhaps you could amend the column to note that “Neither Australia nor New Zealand are British Colonies” (Australia became independent in 1901, New Zealand in either 1931 or 1947 depending who you talk to), and also remove the reference to Queen’s Birthday marking the start of the skiing season in Australia and NZ, as pretty much every Antipodean poster on the boards has been in to say that hardly anyone in Australia skis so the comment is irrelevant?

I’m not a skier so I may have missed it’s deeper significance but in New Zealand I remember Queen’s birthday as the last long weekend before winter really sets in.

I agree with **Princhester ** and **Martini Enfield ** that skiing is a minority sport in Australia and that, for the bulk of people, the Queen’s Birthday signifies nothing more than a long weekend. But I think it’s fair to say that even if the average person doesn’t tag it as “the start of the ski season”, then the media certainly do. I saw references earlier this year to that effect in the Sydney papers. And Martini, I remember similar references when I lived in Wellington.

True and, just to be picky, I’d also like to clarify that the title hints at the thing about observing the Queen’s birthday and probably having the Queen as head of state is a Commonwealth thing. It’s not really. The Commonwealth consists of 53 countries. Only 16 of those have the Queen as head of state. The remaining 37 are mostly republics plus a few that have their own local monarch. Those 37 only see the Queen in the relatively vague title as head of the Commonwealth. I doubt that they have a Queen’s birthday holiday. That title is not automatically passed to the next king or queen.

Having googled about on the topic today as a consequence of this thread (and column) my guess is that this is a meme that the ski resorts are trying to establish in popular consciousness, and they issue press releases appropriately. Much “news” is now regurgitated press release.

Which piques my curiosity. Is there a traditional activity/meal/whatever that her subjects are supposed to perform on whichever day they choose to celebrate?

I mean, 4th of July in America = parades, fireworks, often meals cooked outdoor on grills, watermelon seed spitting contests.

Presidents Day = massive car sales.

Thanksgiving = massive Turkey-centric gluttony.
What do you do on the Queen’s birthday?

Have the day off work, usually. Or, if you work retail or hospitality, get paid exorbitant amounts of money to go to work for a short day (In QLD, at least).

I’m inclined to agree with Princhester that the “Queen’s Birthday= Skiing Season” thing is probably manufactured by the Ski Resorts in an effort to drum up business over a long weekend that is otherwise no different from any other.

You’re probably right. But if so, it’s not a recently developed practice. The notion of “the start of the ski season” has been around for many years. Twenty plus at least.

Sleep in on the Monday morning.
Go shopping.
Have family gatherings.
Go to the cinema.
Perhaps even drive back from the ski fields :slight_smile:
Just standard long weekend stuff

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend was traditionally the time for “cracker night”, but this is no longer the case in most places. The sale of fireworks to the general public has been banned in most states for a number of years now, although they could still be purchased in the ACT when I lived there in the late 1990s. I remember buying some and bringing them back into NSW to entertain my nephews.

In the UK the answer is “The same as any other Saturday” as we don’t have a public holiday or anything like that. As **Bricker ** say we have the Trooping of the Colour in London (which is always on the TV) but I doubt it has a massive audience these days - other than tourists. The other thing to happen that day is the publication of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, where they announce the new crop of Lords, Knights, CBEs, OBEs, MBEs, etc, but, as I’m unlikely to know any one on the list other than celebrity sportsmen and actors, it doesn’t have a big impact.

Oh - and I think the BBC still play the God Save the Queen before the morning news on the radio :smack:

As others have said, the Queen’s Birthday (which is not even close to the real birthday of HM) is just a Monday off work.

The Australian holiday with the most distinct tradition is Anzac Day, on 25th April, which is marked by dawn ceremonies at pretty well every war memorial in the country. followed by returned servicemen spending the rest of the day drinking, playing two-up, etc., at the local RSL club.

(If you need an explanation of any strange terminology there, look it up in Wikipedia – that’s what it’s there for).

After that comes Boxing Day, which is marked by the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and the first day of a cricket test match.

Australia Day (26th January) ought to have a distinct tradition, but is mostly just treatred as an ordinary holiday, especially by people outside New Souith Wales, who rightly see it as commemorating the start of New South Wales, not the start of Australia (which was on 1st January 1901 – but that day already had a holidy).

You Queenslanders don’t get snow reports on the radio throughout ski season? I’m guessing this sport is a little more visible down south. I’ve never made the Queen’s Birthday/ski season connection, but I don’t ski, don’t care about skiing and tend to change the station if there’s something that looks like a sports report on. Kambuckta could probably give a more accurate reflection of your average Victoria’s perception of all things Ski.

So, just another excuse for a day off. Okay, fair enough, It’s not like we Americans have a lot of traditions for Columbus Day or Memorial Day or Veterans Day or Labor Day…
Though you could at least drink to her health.

What, another excuse for drinking isn’t always welcome? :wink: