This week, I had the chance to celebrate Anzac Day, a national Australian public holiday taking place on the 25/4 to commemorate victims of war and recognise their brave role in history. Anzac Day actually stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day and was officially marked on the 25th of April 1916. Apart from being a day off and a nice way to get to know some of Australia’s history, it was also a perfect opportunity to spend time with friends.
Early morning start
People usually tend to gather and celebrate the day with their close friends and family. To start the day, various dawn services are organised to celebrate and honour the country’s armed forces. The official one starts at 4.30am and takes place in Martin Place, right in the centre of Sydney.
The two-up game
After that, people tend to go to their favourite local pub or club for something to eat and a friendly drink. One big tradition on Anzac Day is the two-up game, which essentially revolves around the chance of two coins to both fall with heads up or with tails. Players bet whatever they wish and just wait anxiously for their verdict, which generates a lot of public excitement. Originally, this traditional game was initiated for a shared experience with soldiers.
I ended up spending the day with some Australian family friends, which I really enjoyed as I got to get the full experience. It was nice to see everyone getting together and celebrating this day with pride, respect, and happiness. Taking part in this day, made me realise how grateful I am to be able to exchange different cultural habits and experience what feels like home for others. Although I am not Australian and only heard about the existence of ANZAC Day two weeks ago, I still felt like I was a part of it. In the end, by showing that you care, people show much more enthusiasm and willingness to take you in as one of them.
Have a nice Sunday!