25    Jan 20101 comment

Australian traditions: Australia Day

Seeing as we've got a lot of Australian users we'd like to share with you a small part of their traditions which is the celebration of January 26, Australia day.

Australia dayAustralia day is, apart from a day off, a day Australians come together to celebrate, well... being Australian.

It is also the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the British flag at Sydney Cove in 1788. The raising of the Union Jack there symbolised British occupation of the eastern half of the continent.

Australia day sprung from the arrivals' celebration of this settlement, but also of their love and pride for the land they settled in. They traditionally held anniversary dinners, formalized by Governor Lachlan Macquarie on the thirtieth anniversary of the day in 1818 by making it a public holiday.

The Governor declared that the day would be a holiday for all government workers, granting each an extra allowance of 'one pound of fresh meat', which might explain why Australians are big on barbeques on this day!

Other celebrations include the Australia Day Regatta, the oldest annual sailing regatta in Sydney Harbour 
first held in 1837, as well as citizenship ceremonies, music festivals and the choosing of the Australian of the Year. Millions of people attend community events, or just spend time with friends or family.

We should note though, the day is not without controversy, as some people feel it celebrates the day European settlers took the land from indigenous Australians. Whatever your point of view, it's a topic worth discussing at your Australia day family dinner.

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  1. A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

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