Australia's National Day is celebrated on January 26. It has its beginnings in the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, originally called Landing Day or Foundation Day.
Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, raised the Union Jack flag at Sydney Cove in 1788, which commemorated the British occupation of the continent's eastern half claimed by Captain James Cook on August 22, 1770.
In 1804, almanacs and calendars and Sydney Gazette referred to the date as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In 1817, Governor Macquarie accepted the idea that the continent would be called Australia. A year later, he declared the day an official public holiday on its 30th anniversary.
These days, Australia Day celebrations demonstrate the country's diverse society and landscape, achievements and future. Citizens have an opportunity to reflect on their nation's history.
According to Australiaday.org, more than half of the 21 million people in the country will attend either a community event, or celebrate with friends and family. Even more will just relax with family and friends, attend barbeques, enjoy fireworks and more. Celebrations are held in each town, suburb and city.
The tradition is actually a recent one. Not until 1935 did all Australian states and territories use the name Australia Day to mark the event. In 1994, the Day began to be consistently observed as a public holiday.
How does your family celebrate Australia Day? Let us know in the comments below.
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