Traditions and customs Tasmania

Traditions and customs Tasmania

Aborigines and convicts

The first inhabitants of Tasmania were the Aborigines, who occupied the place already 40 years ago. Following the rising waters caused by the melting ice, their land became an island, and they were separated from their continental cousins. Their cultures differentiated.

The Tasmanian Aborigines are unfortunately no longer there to testify, because the installation of the English colonists was particularly bloody. After an initial period of violent clashes for the possession of land, the hundred or so aboriginal survivors were deported to Flinders Island from 1829 to 1834. Some died there, so much so that when they were transferred to Oyster Cove, in 1847, they were even fewer. Truganini, the last non-mixed Aboriginal of Tasmania, died in 1876.

The true ancestors of the present population of Tasmania are therefore ... convicts. Baptized Land of Van Diemen by the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman who discovered it in 1642, the island was regularly accosted by Europeans before the first English colony was established there in 1803, on the banks of the Derwent. The following year, she moved across the river to what is now Hobart. The English soon realized that this land, far from everything, was the perfect place to relegate their outlaws.

During the first 10 years of colonization, there were more convicts than free settlers on the island. These participated decisively in the development, both demographic and material, of the colony. A little later, austere penal establishments were created at Macquarie Harbor on Sarah Island (1822), on Maria Island (1825), then at Port Arthur (1830).

The last transport of convicts to the island took place in 1853, bringing to 74 the number of convicts who were deported there. From there, Van Diemen's Land wanted to rebuild its reputation by changing its name to "Tasmania", and elected its first island parliament.

In 1901, Tasmania made its entry into the Australian Federation.


In addition to dates common to all of Australia, there are those specific to Tasmania, as well as local events. A nice rule to remember: if the public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is postponed to the following Monday!

- 1er January : new Year.
- Wednesday between January 5 and 11: Devonport Cup (local).
- 26 January: Australia Day.
- The 2nd Monday in February: Royal Hobart Regatta (South Tasmania).
- The last Wednesday of February: Launceston Cup (local).
- The 1st Tuesday of March: King Island Show (local).
- The 2nd Monday in March: Eight Hours Day (Tasmania).
- March April : Good Friday, Easter Monday and Tuesday.
- The Friday following the 1st Thursday in May: Agfest (local, at Circular Head).
- The 2nd Monday in June: queen's birthday.
- The Friday before the 1st Saturday in October: Burnie Show (local).
- The Thursday before the 2nd Saturday in October: Royal Launceston Show (local).
- The Friday before the 3rd Saturday in October: Flinders Island Show (local).
- The Thursday before the 4nd Saturday in October: Royal Hobart Show (local).
- The 1st Monday of November: Recreation Day (northern Tasmania).
- The last Friday of November or December 1: Devonport Show (local).
- 25 December: Christmas.
- 26 December: Boxing Day.

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