Australian Day is on the 26th of January and it’s a national public holiday. A lot of Australians actually don’t know why we celebrate this day, here’s why:
At first, we celebrated this day because it’s when the First Fleet arrived at Australia, more than 200 years ago. They landed in Camp Cove, Port Jackson (or Cadi to the Cadigal people), where Captain Arthur Phillip stood in 1788. At that moment, he claimed Australia as a British Colony.
At first, this day was called Foundation Day and people did a lot of plays about its history (First Fleet). We also used to celebrate this public holiday on the closest Monday to January 26th, instead of celebrating on the actual day. But in 1994, all of Australia agreed we should celebrate this day on the 26th of January. Also, in 1935, only then did we start calling it “Australia Day”.
By now, Australia Day means a lot of different things for different people. The National Australia Day Council says it’s a day to be proud of Australia and proud of being Australian. But for others, it’s a day of sadness and protest’s.
In 1988, we celebrated how we have been on this country for 200 years. But some didn’t celebrate, 15 000 Aboriginal people protested for freedom, justice and hope. Today, many Aboriginals use this day to remember their ancestors who suffered and died after the European Settlement
And Reconciliation Australia believes that we should acknowledge the rights of land the Indigenous People acquire in our society’s history.
This date is full commemoration’s, one of the most known and famous commemoration’s is on the eve of Australia Day. This function is the Australian of the Year Awards (given by the Prime Minister) and these awards go to citizens that achieved something that helps other people. For example, last year’s winner was Professor Ian Frazer, who helped develop a cure for cervical cancer. But there can be also famous people like Cathy Freeman, Steve Waugh and Pat Rafter who have all gotten it as well.
But Australian of the Year isn’t the only section, there is Senior Australian of the Year (60 and over), Young Australian of the year (16 to 25), and Australia’s local heroes. And after all of those awards are presented, there’s a free concert! Around 35 000 people go to this concert (which is at the front of the Parliament House, Canberra), and it’s called Australia Day Live. This concert is shown on television all around the country and some very famous Australian’s perform (Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew, and Russell Crowe have all performed).
All these events take place to represent the different cultures that represent Australia
I understand that Australia day isn’t just about the First Fleet arriving, it’s also can be a sad and upsetting day for some people.
How many other countries have a day like Australia Day?
What are those holidays called?
The link to this video is here: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s1803207.htm