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. 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?
The 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 organised, 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.
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—here 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 lightening speed over the years to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world, also ranking extremely high for 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.
All in all, few holidays could be as fun, delicious and educational all at the same time than Australia Day. So get celebrating!