Australia Day – What is Australia Day?
What is Australia day is a question I have been asked by several of my International friends. One of the wonderful things about the internet and social media is that many of us have expanded our friendships around the globe. A growing number of us are building global businesses and we are learning about our various cultural differences.
The 26th January is Australia Day and is a national holiday for Australians. It is the day we celebrate what is great about Australia and being Australian. It is only since 1994 that we have celebrated Australia day as a National Holiday on the actual day.
Australia Day is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788/
How do we celebrate Australia Day?
Today the arrival of the convict ships would be the last thing most Australians think about on the 26th January each year. Now outdoor concerts, community barbecues (or barbies as we call them), sports competitions, festivals and fireworks are some of the many events presented to communities across Australia.
On Australia Day, many of our nation’s population of 21 million attend either an organized community event, or get together with family and friends with the intention of celebrating our national day. Many more spend the public holiday relaxing with family and friends.
At its core, Australia Day is a day driven by communities, and the celebrations held in each town, suburb or cities are the foundation of its ongoing success.
Citizenship ceremonies are also commonly held and Australia Day is now the largest occasion for the acquisition of citizenship. On 26 January 2011, more than 300 Citizenship Ceremonies took place and 13,000 people from 143 countries took Australian Citizenship.
An Australian Citizenship Affirmation is a statement that gives all Australians, not only our newest citizens, the opportunity to affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people.
Citizenship ceremonies are generally conducted by local government councils and can be held on Australia Day as part of the program of events.
Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. The actor Geoffrey Rush was named Australian of the Year 2012. Rush was honored for his 40 year career and commitment to Australia’s arts industry.
There are other awards given and a substantial number of people honored for their contribution in various ways.
What did I do for Australia Day 2012?
I live in a town called Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We had planned to meet friends at a park on the banks of the river quite close to our house. These plans were cancelled when the rain set in. Here is a very short video of the location taken a couple of days later. Unfortunately what would normally be a vibrant packed place was like a ghost town on Australia Day.
Mid-afternoon it did stop raining for a while and we went over to the beach and this is what was happening.
Australia is such a large country and our weather this 26th January varied across the nation. A couple of examples are;
- My home town on the other side of the country had a scorching day of 40 degrees Celsius (that is 104).
- Melbourne had a warm sunny day as many people flocked to the Australian Open (tennis grand slam).
- Sydney also had rain but people still flocked to the harbor.
What is Australia Day? Tell me about your National Holidays
I know the US celebrates 4th July for Independence Day but I know very little about other countries National Holiday. Please leave your comments below. If you are an Aussie tell me what you did this year and if you are not how do you celebrate your National Day?