January 26th is the day we celebrate our luck at living in this amazing country. So why that date and what is the history behind this united Australian identity day.
On the 26th of January, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip took ‘formal possession of the Colony of NSW’ by unfurling the English flag at an area which is now known a Sydney Cove. OK so you knew that bit but did you know the rest?
The earliest written history of Australia day dates back to 1808, with documented evidence of informal gatherings in celebrations of the anniversary of the foundation of the colony. How could they know back then how exciting and celebrated this day would build into.
In 1817 Governor Macquarie recommended the adoption of the name Australia for the entire continent rather than continuing with the name New Holland. What a relief, though perhaps not to our Dutch friends!
Initially the day was known as Foundation Day and in 1838 – the 50th anniversary of the landing – it became known as ‘A Day For Everyone’.
It wasn’t until as late as 1946 that the Commonwealth Government and all States and Territories agreed to observe Australia day on the same day, and accepted the 26th of January as our National day. As with every decision, there has been some disapproval of the date but it has survived the negativity and is permanently etched into our calendars and history books.
In typical Australian fashion, it has become a day for sport, Aussie barbeques and great patriotism. Citizenship ceremonies are still an integral event of the day and since 1960, the Australian of the Year Awards have been proudly handed out. So apart from fun and parties it has its serious side too.
Australia Day celebrations and the patriotism which is spreading right around this great land down under, is growing each year with more and more people proud to wear Australian garb, eat chops and fly the Aussie flag. Even cars are part of the dress up so there is no excuse not to be part of our day of unity and pride.
Earlier this week we had some fun celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Dragon and now its time to celebrate our multicultural country in real Aussie style. Get yourself some green and gold or an Aussie flag outfit, get to the beach, go to a breakfast, throw or invite yourself to a barbie or celebrate by a campfire, and together lets raise our XXXX to the Boxing Kangaroo.