10 Fun Facts About Australia Day

facts on australia day

Australia Day is an annual national holiday in Australia, celebrated on January 26th every year. It commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788 and the establishment of the British colony in Australia. The day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and barbecues all over the country. In this blog post, we’ll explore some fun facts about Australia Day that you might not have known before.

The Origins

Australia Day has been celebrated since 1818, but it wasn’t until 1935 that it became a national holiday. Originally, it was called “Foundation Day” and was only celebrated in New South Wales. In 1946, it was renamed Australia Day and became a national holiday.

Why is it celebrated on January 26th?

January 26th is the day that the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Cove, marking the beginning of British settlement in Australia. However, for Indigenous Australians, the day is often referred to as “Invasion Day” or “Survival Day” as it marks the beginning of a dark chapter in Australian history.

How is Australia Day celebrated?

Australia Day is celebrated in various ways across the country. Some people have barbecues, go to the beach, or attend community events like concerts and parades. Others use the day to reflect on Australian history and what it means to be Australian.

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Facts About Australia Day

  1. The first official Australia Day award was given to an American in 1962. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was given the award for his service in the Pacific during World War II.
  2. In 1975, the first official Australia Day citizenship ceremony was held, where more than 7,000 people became Australian citizens.
  3. The Australian of the Year award was first given in 1960 and is now a highly anticipated event every year. The award recognizes Australians who have made significant contributions to their communities or to the nation.
  4. In 2008, a world record was set for the largest number of people wearing inflatable thongs (flip-flops) in one place. Over 2,000 people wore inflatable thongs in Adelaide to set the record.
  5. Many Australians celebrate Australia Day with a game of backyard cricket, a popular pastime in the country.
  6. The Australian National Anthem, “Advance Australia Fair,” was first sung in public on Australia Day in 1878.
  7. The first official Australia Day poster was created in 1984 and has since become a popular way for artists to showcase their talent and creativity.
  8. In 2010, the Australian government launched a new initiative called “Australia Day Live” to broadcast the official celebrations from around the country to a global audience.
  9. The largest Australia Day celebration is held in Sydney Harbour, where over 1 million people gather to watch the annual Ferrython, a race between the city’s iconic ferries.
  10. The Australian flag is flown on Australia Day, along with the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag, to recognize the country’s Indigenous heritage.

FAQs

Q: Is Australia Day a public holiday?

A: Yes, Australia Day is a national public holiday in Australia.

Q: Is it celebrated in other countries?

A: Australia Day is celebrated primarily in Australia, although some Australian expats and communities around the world also hold celebrations.

Q: Do Indigenous Australians celebrate Australia Day?

A: Many Indigenous Australians do not celebrate Australia Day as it marks the beginning of colonization and the negative impacts it had on their communities.

Q: Is there a specific food that Australians eat on Australia Day?

A: No, there is no specific food that is traditionally eaten on Australia Day. However, barbecues and picnics are a common way to celebrate the holiday.

Q: Are there any controversies surrounding Australia Day?

A: Yes, there is ongoing debate and controversy surrounding the celebration of Australia Day, particularly in regards to its date and the impact of colonization on Indigenous Australians.

Q: What other national holidays does Australia celebrate?

A: Australia also celebrates Anzac Day (April 25th), which commemorates the sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand soldiers in past conflicts, and Queen’s Birthday (varies by state), which celebrates the birthday of the current monarch.

Australia Day is a day for Australians to come together and celebrate their history, culture, and achievements. Whether it’s attending a community event, having a barbecue with friends and family, or reflecting on the country’s past, there are many ways to honor this important national holiday.

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