Australia Day is the official national day of Australia, celebrated on 26th January annually, and as it is only days away, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you how it came to be.
On 26th January in 1788, the First Fleet of eleven ships arrived from Great Britain at Port Jackson, which now forms Sydney Harbour. By 1808, the 26th January was being celebrated as ‘First Landing Day’ or ‘Foundation Day’. This day became a public holiday in 1838, being the first public celebrations of the founding of Australia.
Over the years, 26th January has been known by many names – First Landing Day, Foundation Day and Anniversary Day. It wasn’t until 1935 when it became Australia Day in all states except New South Wales, where it was still called Anniversary Day. However, by 1946, it was known in all states as Australia Day.
It took them a long time to sort that one out!
However, Indigenous Australians – the Aboriginal people, felt that the celebrations on Australia Day excluded them and their culture – a culture that had been thriving for thousands of years before the arrival of the First Fleet from Britain. Proposals have been made to change the date, but without much public support. You can read the whole story here www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day
On this day Australia also celebrates the achievement and contribution of notable Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards, by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all.
Australia Day is a public holiday which means a welcome day off work for most, and all schools are closed. It’s a day for BBQ’s, the beach and back-yard cricket!
Community events are held in most city parks for the public to enjoy the fun, food, music and entertainment to suit everyone. The entertainment could include a Circus, Wood-chopping, camel/pony rides, face-painting, animal nursery, sheep shearing, blacksmith, snake shows – and of course, some tasty Aussie tucker (food)! Something for everyone!
For those who want to celebrate on a smaller scale, there will be lots of bar-b-queues in back yards that day!
Prawns on the barbie!
We live out of town, so our street is having its own celebrations – the obligatory Aussie BBQ – and good food. Seafood is a must for most Aussies that day, so I’ll be picking up some lovely fresh Tiger Prawns to throw on the barbie! It’s also a good way to meet new neighbours who might be new to our area.
Sydney Harbour Regatta (the oldest continuous regatta in the world) where millions of boats and vessels race together in celebration – a fantastic spectacle!
The beach is a popular place on Australia Day to beat the heat. January is very hot. Sounds like a good idea to me!
You can bet that whatever Aussies choose to do on the day, it will be FUN!
Anyone coming? Just bring your own drinks and you’ll be right, mate!