Do you believe that it is possible to achieve unity amidst diversity as citizens of one country?
There is a controversial concern about a public occasion in Australia commemorated every January 26th. It is an event to remember the arrival of the First Fleet in Australia in 1788. Governor Arthur Philip raised the British flag and announced the area that became a British belonging to New South Wales. Generally, they gave this date various names before being officially named “Australia Day” in 1935.
Australians celebrate this occasion to show their love for the country and their people. However, this is not the case for all of them. Indigenous Australians, on the other hand, find this offensive in some way. Despite the ideological debate over history, however, a recent study by the Institute of Public Affairs has found that three-fourths of Australians supported the national day to be celebrated on January 26th (read more). That is why until now, it has been long celebrated, and there are various ways to do it.
In this article, we will be tackling the event, the celebrations you can do, and the resounding fuss all about the commemoration.
What Is Australia Day?
Australia Day is the celebration where Australia, the country, is getting all the appreciation as a democratic land. You can think of all the things you love about the country: your freedom, lifestyle, and fellow countrymen. It’s about recognizing and celebrating every Australian’s contribution to our modern, dynamic country. In a nutshell, it is the event to be proud and grateful.
Ever since the day has been declared a national holiday, numerous individuals have a day off at work, use the day to get barbeques, go to outdoor shows, and play or watch games. All schools and offices are closed. Stores are frequently open. However, they may have reduced opening hours.
There may be some congestion on roads, especially near significant occasions. Festivals, concerts, programs, and ceremonies are held at different places all over Australia. Many people celebrate this event dearly (link: https://www.australia.com/en-my/events/arts-culture-and-music/australia-day.html).
Things You Can Do During Celebration
Due to the possibility of road closures in capital cities during significant events in Australia, public transportation is the most reliable means of transport. Plan your trip ahead of time and allow plenty of time for travel. So make sure to maximize your time.
Here are the things you can do during the celebration:
1. Ferry Race
In Sydney, the Ferrython is an Australia Day tradition. You can enjoy watching the festival as Sydney’s First Fleet of ferries routes up for a race in the water, coming from Barangaroo Wharf to Shark Island and lastly for the Harbour Bridge. The population of Australians can be too broad for the array of chairs available, so make sure to grab a ticket aboard one of the racing ferries to get admission to the rewards and services such as lunch and beverages.
But if you’ve not made a special arrangement for one of the seating, you might see it from the ferry piers at Circular Quay or the Sydney Opera House or may walk across the Harbour Bridge.
2. City And Sky Views
Australia Day is a national holiday celebrated every January 26th, with the majority of events being free! As a result, many residents will likely mark the holiday in a public setting. A fireworks display is one thing that people are looking forward to, making the day even more special.
The South Bank of Brisbane offers an intimate listening venue, fantastic street food, and fantastic firework shows in the evening. Also, the urban center park in Perth overlooking the Swan River is an excellent place to visit for the whole family. It’s the perfect location to watch the fireworks and light show. Visit the Melbourne City Centre at Docklands for the evening fireworks and have a beverage along the riverfront.
A celebration isn’t complete without a free concert, and Australia Day hosts these types of events to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festivities. As a result, because the event lasts all day, you should check out the inclusions for a free concert series in Darling Harbour every 9 p.m., which is also where the majority of the fireworks display takes place. It would be a colorful night sky while listening to pop and rock music performed by local Australian musicians and artists.
The forecourt of the Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House also hosts a free live concert.
Indigenous Australians do not favor celebrating Australia on the day that may represent intrusion, dispossession, violence, destruction of culture, and death to numerous indigenous people such as the Aboriginals. Hence, many people have questioned and disagreed about making January 26th a national holiday for all Australians. This day commemorates the conquest and colonization of their homeland. Some people may find it offensive to celebrate this date because it reminds them of their suffering and what their families have endured.
Unity is an issue when commemorating this day because not all Australians are willing to celebrate the event as a free, fun, and happy day. They are divided by their beliefs that are influenced by their experience. You can visit this website for more details, and make an opinion about it. Should this be celebrated in the time when people fought themselves with pain? It might be insensitive on the part of those who celebrate it, but it was then legalized and considered a national holiday.
Also, people think that the way to solve this is to change the date of the celebration day. However, this is still an issue because the Australians have already commemorated Australian day on that specific date for all the years that have passed. Changing it would lose the celebration’s whole meaning and would lead to irony.
Acknowledging the past and the present is the significant initial move towards compromise and unity. But to top it all, all deserve respect for one’s feelings. When celebrating the event of Australia, always stay extra-sensitive for those who do not feel like being part of the celebration. It includes being extra careful not to pour out racist jokes. Instead, find a way to highlight the nation’s egalitarian nature, which is better and at every Australians’ core.
What about you? Do you think that changing the date would change everything and would result in unity? How do you celebrate it?