Australia. A country. A continent. A land of pristine beaches and merciless deserts, adorable koala bears, and murderous great white sharks. The sixth-largest country in the world, with but 21 million inhabitants. Closer to Asia than any other continent, so close that many “pop over” to Bali for the weekend, yet bearing virtually no resemblance to Asia whatever.

Learn about Australia Day

And as comedian Victor Borge put it, “When it’s midnight in Australia, nobody knows what time it is anywhere else.” To most people, Australia is a land of mystery, danger, and majestic beauty. All who have been there come back astonished at the number of things they didn’t know existed before going there, and those that decide to stay there rarely look back.

That’s why it goes without saying that this unique continent more than deserves its own day. Right mate?

This date marks the anniversary of the First Fleet of British Ships in New South Wales, which occurred in 1788. The significance and meaning of this day have evolved over time. Today, celebrations reflect the diverse landscape and society of the country. There are a number of different types of events that take place in Australia on this date, including firework displays, festivals, sports competitions, community barbecues, and outdoor concerts. Of course, you do not need to be based in Australia in order to honor this date! People all around the world can join in and show their appreciation for Australia. 

History of Australia Day

Australia day is celebrated annually on January 26th, as that marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at New South Wales as well as the raising of the flag of Great Britain at that location. In present-day Australia, however, celebrations focus much less on the arrival of the aforementioned ships, and instead concentrate more on the diverse society and landscape of the nation.

Many community and family events are organized, as well as various celebrations welcoming new immigrants. Australia is a relatively young country, as federation occurred just over 100 years ago in 1901, so it was not until 1935 that Australia Day was actually celebrated.

Due to the rapid decline of the indigenous population after the arrival of British ships on Australia’s shores, some prefer to call this holiday “Invasion Day” as a way of remembering the many that died from various diseases in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Because of this, over the years, there has been a lot of controversy regarding the date that has been chosen for Australia Day. This is because some people in Australia think that the day is a symbol of the adverse effects that happened to the Indigenous people of Australia because of the settlement of the British people. Because of this, there have been changes to the date, with some places in Australia celebrating Australia Day on a different date.

How to celebrate Australia Day

If you happen to live in Australia, celebrating this day will be easy for you: go to a parade, pick a party to attend, and you’re all set! If you’re not from Australia, however, and would still like to take advantage of this day to learn something different and do something new, don’t worry—there are plenty of options for you as well.

One of the easiest ways to go about celebrating this day would be to read about this county’s fascinating history. Originally meant to be a penal colony, this country has developed at lightning speed over the years to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world, also ranking extremely high for the quality of health and education.

In fact, Australia is considered to be one of the top 3 countries to live. All of that in just over 100 years? They have to be doing something right! Read and find out what their secret to happiness is. If you prefer cooking and eating to reading about history and politics, you’re in luck, as authentic Australian foods are among the most interesting foods in the world.

The indigenous bushfoods consumed by the native Australians, combined with the both European and Asian influences make Australia’s cuisine unique. Australia is also the 4th largest wine exporter in the world, so if fine wine is your passion, you’re sure to find an Australian wine to suit your tastes. Due to the surrounding oceans, seafood is also plentiful.

Another way to celebrate Australia Day is by learning some famous Australian phrases. We are sure that you’ve all heard an Australian say G’Day before, whether on TV or in person. However, Australians are known for having lots of fun phrases. For example, they call a barbecue a barbie, which is another well-known one! But did you know that to say goodbye to someone they say Hooroo? One of our favorites is the phrase “fair dinkum” – this means genuine and true. If someone has made you laugh, you can call them a dag. You can definitely have a lot of fun learning the different phrases that are popular with Australians. 

How about spending the day learning about some of the most famous Australians? There is only one place to start here, and that is with Steve Irwin! The late zookeeper was nicknamed The Crocodile Hunter. He achieved fame all over the world for his television series, which ran from 1996 until his death. The world was in moaning when he passed away due to a stingray injury in 2006. However, his zoo in Australia – Australia Zoo – lives on thanks to his wife and children. There is no better way to celebrate Australia Day than watching one of his shows! His enthusiasm and love for animals are infectious. We would also recommend reading up on all of the incredible work that he did in his life for animals. 

There are a lot of other famous Australian people as well. This includes Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Olivia Newton-John, Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, and Cate Blanchett. So, if you are going to be at home this Australia day, why not get the popcorn in and watch a film that features one of these Australian megastars? Oh, and don’t forget to play a bit of Kylie Minogue too! “I should be so lucky…Lucky, lucky, lucky…”

All in all, few holidays could be as fun, delicious and educational all at the same time than Australia Day. So get celebrating!

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