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What is Australia Day?

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.聽 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聽 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鈥檚 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
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.

Recognition
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鈥檚 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.

Noosa Beach Australia Day

Noosa Main Beach

 

Sue Australia Day

Sue on Noosa Beach

 

Around Australia

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?

37 thoughts on “What is Australia Day?

  1. Beth Hewitt

    Hey Sue,

    Thanks for the great info on Australia day. So sad it wasn’t a sunny day 馃檪

    In the UK our national day is St George’s day but it isn’t a public holiday.
    St. George is the patron saint of England. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George’s emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century.

    One of the best-known stories about Saint George is his fight with a dragon. But it is highly unlikely that he ever fought a dragon, and even more unlikely that he ever actually visited England. Despite this, St George is known throughout the world as the dragon-slaying patron saint of England.

    St George’s day is 23rd of April but you don’t get much in the way of celebration. Probably because everyone is at work!

    Beth 馃檪
    Beth Hewitt recently posted..Focus and DeterminationMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hi Beth

      You know I really think it is the first time I have not had great weather for Australia Day. It was sad as so many activities are based outdoors on that day.

      Thanks so much for the information on St George Day. We learned quite a bit of UK history at school, given we are part of the Commonwealth but I cannot remember ever learning that. So thanks!

      Pity you do not get a public holiday. We seem to get them for anything in Australia 馃檪

      I love learning about other countries and isn’t it great the internet has opened so much up for us?

      Sue

  2. Abbie

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  3. Astrid Sanschagrin

    It seems nice to know that Australia’s Day is being celebrated on January. I wonder if the celebration is only applied to Aussie citizens only. Perhaps foreigners could be able to participate in this wonderful event too. It is interesting to learn about the citizenship affirmation ceremony. Thanks for the insights about the event.
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    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment Astrid. Anyone that is in Australia on the day would get swept up in our celebrations. I have some friends who lived in the USA for years and they celebrated and invited their American friends. I am sure other expats share the celebrations with non- Aussies.
      I always celebrate the US Independence Day – the 4th July. I have another reason to celebrate it though – it is my wedding anniversary. 馃檪

      Sue

  4. Aline

    Australia Day is relatively recent as a public holiday throughout Australia, only being officially established countrywide in 1994. It marks the date, January 26, 1788, when a fleet of eleven convict ships dropped anchor in Sydney Harbor and the British flag was raised. Captain Cook had claimed the continent for England in 1770.
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    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment Aline. I grew up celebrating Australia Day but there were different days it was celebrated in different states of Australia.

      Sue

  5. Jen

    Sue, Thanks for sharing this info. I learn something new today. Now I know what Australian day is. Kepp up the good work especially on educational part of your blog..

  6. Larry

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    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment Larry. I think it is easy to lose hours on the web for sure. I love it and clearly you do too.

      Sue

  7. Krishna

    Hi Sue!
    Its pleasure to here about australia and know something new about australia-day.Intersting article by u Sue.I will be reading articles here after in this site.Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sue Post author

      Hey Andrew thanks for visiting me again 馃檪
      Not many people know much about Australia unless they live here.
      Thanks for your comment.

      Sue

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I love that the internet allows us to know more about each other’s countries and cultures.

      Sue

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    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment Mika. Most people do not know much about Australia unless they have been here so I thought I would share. 馃檪

      Sue