Is Australia Day A Public Holiday?
Australia Day 2020 is regarded as a public holiday in two external territories, two territories and six states, according to Holidays 2020. Hence, it is a holiday for the general population, government offices, banks, universities, colleges, businesses, post offices, schools and much more.
Hence, these establishments either remain closed or alter their opening/closing hours. Public transport on this day reduces the duration of their service, and congestion on streets can be seen due to processions and parades being carried out.
Australia Day History
Australia Day history holds relevant significance and commemorates the beginning of its observance. Australia Day commemorates the establishment of a new penal colony of New South Wales in January 1788 with the arrival of a fleet of 11 convict ships. It was after in 1818 that the then Governor of NSW or New South Wales announced a Grand Ball and celebrations on this happy occasion. It is also mentioned in the historical records that a 30-Gun Salute was also carried out to mark this occasion, and a holiday was announced for government employees on this day.
As per the records, initially it was only New South Wales observing this day, which is why this day was also known as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. However, 50 years after the arrival of the convoy, this day was regarded as a public holiday. However, due to the establishment of colonies, Aboriginal Australians always felt that they were being excluded from the celebrations, which is why protests were and are still carried out along with the celebrations. Since that day, efforts have been made for reconciliation, and in 2013, Aboriginal Flag along with Australian Flag was hoisted and raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the very first time to mark the union.
Australia Day Symbols
Several national symbols are associated with Australia Day, which is mentioned below. Natives and even tourists can witness these symbols being demonstrated within the community. Here are the famous Australia Day symbols:
1. The very famous Australian national flag, consisting of the Commonwealth Star, the Union Jack, and five stars representing the Southern Cross.
2. The national anthem, Advance Australia Fair
3. Waltzing Matilda, Australia’s unofficial anthem
4. Golden Wattle, national floral emblem
5. Opal, the national gemstone
6. Green & Gold, Australia’s national colors
Australia Day Celebrations
City of Perth Fireworks is one of the main sights on Australia Day, where fireworks are carried out over the Swan River in Perth from bridges, boats and skyscrapers with millions of people witnessing the festivity. It is one of the spectacular displays
which charge the atmosphere and instil a sense of happiness and joy within the hearts of people. Since it’s a day off, outdoor barbecues, sports events, outdoor concerts and much more are organized.
Australia Day occurs during the summers in Australia, which is why communal picnics are widely famous. People can be seen enjoying a piece of Lamington sponge cake covered with grated coconut and chocolate or gorging on mouth-watering delicacies. States in Australia celebrate this day in their own styles. Sydney hosts boat races and ferry races, whereas parades and even a cricket match is organized in Adelaide. Australian citizenship ceremonies are conducted on this day to hand out certificates and welcome those who have been granted the country’s citizenship.
Australia Day Interesting Facts
Below we are mentioning some interesting facts associated with Australia Day that will enlighten you and add to your knowledge regarding this annual national observance. Go ahead and give them a quick read:
1. In 1788, there were approximately 1000+ natives aboard arriving from Britain on the fleet of 11 ships. Out of the whole, there were around 700+ prisoners who were settled in penal colonies after their arrival.
2. A 30-Gun Salute and Grand Ball was hosted by the Governor of Australia on the 30th Anniversary of Australia Day. This day was also announced as a public holiday for bank and government workers by the Governor himself.
3. The anniversary of this occasion was only celebrated in New South Wales and not throughout Australia for the first 100 years.
4. Hoisting the Aboriginal Flag, Australian National Flag or Torres Strait Islander Flag on this day is a common sight throughout Australia.
5. This day is also known as Invasion Day since the Indigenous population of Australia believes that this day marks the invasion of their native country by the Britishers.
6. Certificates and awards, most popularly “The Australian of the Year Award”, are handed out on this occasion.
Australia Day Observances
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1. Is there a public holiday for Australia Day?
Australia Day is a declared public holiday.
2. What are other names for Australia Day?
Australia Day is also known as Invasion Day, Foundation Day, Australian Natives’ Association Day, Survival Day, Anniversary Day.
3. Who found Australia?
In 1688, William Dampier was the first Englishman to arrive in Australia.
4. Is anything open AUS day?
Australian Day is a national holiday in all states and territories. All schools, colleges and post offices are closed. Stores are still available, but they may have shortened operating hours.
We hope that this interesting information on Australia Day 2020 has added to your intellect and made you aware of one of the important days in Australia. All the Best!