Anzac Day is an important day to remember.
Anzac Day is a public holiday in Australia, that is celebrated on the 25th of April every year. So what is it all about? Anzac Day was first named in 1916 and it marks the first day that that Australian and New Zealand troops saw military action in Gallipoli during World War 1. Australia chooses to mark the anniversary in a variety of ways. Here is what you need to know.
What is Anzac Day about?
ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. We are tight allies with New Zealand (unless the Australian Wallabies are playing the New Zealand All Blacks in Rugby Union..and then we are sporting rivals), and fought side by side in many wars. Anzac Day commemorates these allies and the importance of remembering how the soldiers fought for our freedom. There are lots of things to do on Anzac Day and we encourage you to get out and enjoy the day.
Go to a Anzac Day dawn service.
The first commemorative event on Anzac Day is the Dawn service at 4:30am. This is around the time that the Anzacs approached the beach at Gallipoli. A dawn service held at Martin Place (in the CBD) that commences at 4.15am, however most local councils organise their own, so check out their website. Dawn services are often followed by a march, where servicemen and women from all wars, walk together. This is our opportunity to say thank you for the hard work they put in.
The sunset service in the CBD takes place at the Cenotaph at 5pm. It is a shorter service to conclude the official commemorations.
Have a drink or play two-up at the RSL.
After the official part of the day, our war veterans like to have a good time, talk to their mates and remember the old days. This is done at the local RSL Club (Returned and Services League), by having a drink or two and playing a game of two-up. Two-up is a form of street gambling and is illegal (except on Anzac Day) and places that allow two-up to be played, can not charge a fee to play or profit in any way. You also need to be 18 years old to play. Here is a link to explain how to play two-up.
Remember those that have gone to war, especially World War 1.
If you go to an RSL club or a dawn service you will hear these words spoken:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them.
You should stand, bow your head and at the end say “we will remember them”.
Other traditions you might see are to wear a sprig of Rosemary, eat ANZAC biscuits or buy an Anzac Day pin from a serviceman/women, which shows support for all of those that have fought in wars and continue to do so.
SELC offers courses in English, Business, Fitness and Early Childhood Education and Care studies, in the heart of the Sydney CBD and Bondi Junction. We encourage students to live the full Australian experience, while they are here studying with us. If you would like information on any of our courses, don’t hesitate to contact us or have a look at the SELC website.