Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australian Day

Today, January 26, is Australian Day.  It is a day when Australians come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian.  The date reflects the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain.  Upon entry to the Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788, the ship's commander, Captain Arthur Phillip, raised the Union Jack Flag and proclaimed British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia.
Across the nation, Australians celebrate Australian Day either by attending organized community events, or by getting together with friends and family.  Barbies and fireworks are an important part of a celebration.  It harkens back to the day when hundreds of people are able to call themselves Australian for the first time after having been conferred citizenship.  It is a day when a country is able to reflect on its remarkable achievements as its countrymen look to the future.
It is important to not that not all citizens of Australia view this as a day of celebration.  For many, Australian Day is the commemoration of the destruction of the Indigenous cultures.  In support of this view protests are often held in opposition of the National Celebration and the day is referred to as Invasion Day.


  1. Hi Maya, Happy Belated Australian Day. The traditions and celebrations sounds similar to the 4th of July traditions. Australia has an interesting history.

  2. Hi Kathy, we actually turned the holiday into a long weekend and took a road trip. That is why I have been responding to you. The celebrations did seem to be very similar to the 4th of July traditions. The USA and Australia seem to have a lot of similarities.