ANZAC Day

Wednesday, April 25th is ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). It’s a public holiday dedicated to the anniversary of the WWI troop landing in Gallipoli in 1915, which was the first time that the ANZACs had fought a major military campaign together. After subsequent wars, the day became a way to honor all the people who fought or served for their countries. It’s also an identity thing about the meaning and spirit of being an Aussie; it occurred just 14 years after Australia’s states joined together to become a country.

It’s sort of like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day in the US, but people take it a bit more seriously or sacredly than I think the average American does. People wear sprigs of rosemary pinned to their lapels for remembrance today. This is even more meaningful because rosemary was found growing wild on the fields of Gallipoli where so many lives were lost.

Today they have parades, a dawn commemorative service, other services throughout the day (we drove past a few crowds, probably gathering at local war memorials in the little towns we passed) and… there are football and rugby games?  But they’re not a part of the tradition the way that football is on Thanksgiving in the US. After the services and parades, people tend to go to the pubs and reminisce and gather and drink together.  Which seems like a nice show of camaraderie to me. Plus, this is the time of year that you get to eat delicious ANZAC biscuits!

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5 thoughts on “ANZAC Day

  1. It appears you are enjoying your time in Australia despite it starting to get cold this time of year. It sucks that you Americans only get 2 weeks holiday a year – makes me feel like you guys are ‘slaves to the man’ [sic]. I hope you’ve found Aussies to be hospitable. Are you heading up into QLD? Perhaps up to Cairns and out to the Great Barrier Reef?

    • I’m having a great time! Actually, I don’t like too much heat, so I think fall in Australia might be perfect for me. 🙂 And I’m heading to Queensland next week- it looks like it will be beautiful. Do you recommend any particular tours there?

      • To be honest, I’ve never really been on a tour here. I usually organise trips myself or with mates. I would suggest diving the great barrier reef or at least snorkelling out off Cairns. You wont regret it.

  2. Very interesting. Thank you.
    Also, I have to add, that personally, I think that more people should be invested spiritually into any holiday or memorial, otherwise, what’s the point. If America had a healthy way of life, we wouldn’t need to just use a “day off” for not caring. Woe oh woe.
    I want to eat all of your treats (heehehe snicker)… 🙂

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