australia day – what will you be doing?

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Another long weekend is approaching us here in Australia. January 26 marks our official national day – what we call Australia Day. It is the anniversary of when the First Fleet landed in 1788 and it was only in 1994, that we consistently celebrated it as a national public holiday.

So what are we really celebrating?

The Australia Day Council explains it as:

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. 

And around the country, Australians spend the day attending community events, watching the cricket (if it happens to be on) or playing backyard cricket, having BBQs, going to concerts, splashing around in the pool or the beach, water sports and sailing…. etc the list goes on! Then to top off the cracking day, there are always some fireworks!

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But there is no right or wrong way to spend the day.

Regardless of what everyone is doing, there is likely to be food involved:

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  1. what Aussies fondly term “a sausage sizzle”: which are sausages cooked on the BBQ, then served with a bread roll, topped with barbecued onion. Sauces are optional.
  2. if not a sausage sizzle, then a BBQ of some sort.
  3. a picnic.
  4. a lamb roast, a leg of lamb or lamb cutlets… don’t forget the mint sauce: weeks leading up to Australia Day, we have regular TV advertisements for lamb.
  5. an ice-cold beer.
  6. at the community events, there is bound to be food trucks of all cuisines. There’ll be gozlemes, dumplings, hot chips, kebabs plus plenty of other choices.
  7. something entirely different because what’s traditional?!

And that is the beauty of being Australian. We are all different and we respect diversity. 

  • We might not all say G’day but a helluva lot of us say, “How ya going?” or “No worries.”
  • We might not all wear cork hats but we certainly love our “thongs” (for our American friends – they are what you call flipflops)
  • We might not all love cricket but there’s plenty of sports for us to choose from.
  • We might not all drink beer but we use beer to batter our fish.

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But Australia Day isn’t just about sports and food, there is a serious side.

On this day, Australians with outstanding achievements are acknowledged. There are 4 categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (60 years and over), Young Australian of the Year (16 to 30 years) and Australia’s Local Hero. To read more, visit the Australian of the Year Awards website.

Also on this day, citizenship ceremonies are hosted around the country. Those whose application have been approved, make their Pledge of Commitment at these ceremonies  then become Australian citizens.

The Australia Day Council say:

Though 26 January marks this specific event [the landing of the First Fleet], today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s history, and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future.

If you are in Australia, what are you doing on January 26? 

Or tell us about your National Day and what you do. 

Tell us how you celebrate.

This was a sponsored post researched and written by Wise Monkeys Abroad for eBay Australia
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49 thoughts on “australia day – what will you be doing?

    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary said:
    January 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I hope you had a great day celebrating Australia Day yesterday. One of my husband’s friends lives in Australia and I just love the different words and phrases he (and his daughter) uses like ‘do you reckon?,’ ‘bloke,’ and ‘mate.’

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 27, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Hahaha… it wasn’t until we went overseas that we realised how often we used the word “reckon” and “mate” – LOL!

      We had a lovely long weekend thank you 🙂

    the eternal traveller said:
    January 23, 2015 at 7:49 am

    We are having a butterflied lamb roast on the bbq with salads, pavlova and iced vo-vo cupcakes and other Aussie goodies with family and friends. I googled Australia Day party games and found a great Australia trivia quiz, crossword puzzle and wordfinder so we are having games after dinner! I’m off to buy Australian flag bunting to decorate the pergola!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 23, 2015 at 9:01 am

      Hmmm… lamb road, and pavlova…. you are making us drool!
      PS we love trivia so that sounds like a great day you will be having!
      Have fun with the family and friends 🙂

    BerLinda said:
    January 23, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I’ll be celebrating with my Australian friend in Berlin! Not sure what she wants to do but hopefully it won’t involve cricket! 😉

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 23, 2015 at 8:58 am

      What’s wrong with cricket? 😉 The Aussies are playing India that day so maybe your friend might want to watch it! Well, enjoy celebrating Aussie Day in Berlin!

        BerLinda said:
        January 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

        I lived with 4 Kiwi guys and they watched it non-stop. That and fishing. I nearly went mad 😉

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 23, 2015 at 9:02 am

          Hahahah!! We love the cricket so that is fine with us… but the fishing?? Hmmm… don’t know about that one! Sounds boring… Or are we just “the pot calling the kettle black”? Go on, you can be honest 😉

            BerLinda said:
            January 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

            Maybe a little bit pot-kettle 😉 At least there’s some movement in cricket though – watching a dude sit in a boat for hours on end… YAWN!

    Curt Mekemson said:
    January 23, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Sounds like the 4th of July to me, where Americans celebrate the founding of the nation so we can have a bar-b-que, drink beer and watch fireworks. 🙂 Curt

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Yes, we would probably liken it to your 4th of July 🙂 We would love to be in the US for that one day ….

        Curt Mekemson said:
        January 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

        Or you can go to Burning Man and get even more fireworks. LOL. –Curt

    backpackerlee said:
    January 23, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Im not doing anything special, but I would love to celebrate it cooly in the Whitsundays 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 23, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Ahhhhh…..Whitsundays certainly does sound like a place to spend the day (or week) 🙂

    Ayla said:
    January 22, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    This is a very important day but mainly because it is my birthday!! Haha!! I would love to be in Australia for Australia Day one year – would be fantastic to celebrate in this way for my birthday. Hope you have a great day 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      WOW!! Well, we will NEVER forget your birthday. It certainly is a very important day in more ways than one 🙂 You must come and celebrate it here one year, then!!

      Happy Happy Happy birthday for Monday and may you have an absolute terrific day, doing whatever you do. And enjoy the weekend as well, make it an extra special one xxxx

        Ayla said:
        January 22, 2015 at 10:40 pm

        Aww thank you so much! You sound more excited than me haha!! I don’t actually have much planned this year – clearly getting too old to get excited about birthdays! 😦 Alex is taking me out for a surprise this weekend though so hopefully that will cheer my old self up!

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

          Hahah birthdays are exciting 🙂 Celebrating another year of LIFE!!

          And you are so not OLD, if you are OLD, we are relics!

          Well, enjoy the surprise… maybe it’s a trip somewhere??

            Ayla said:
            January 22, 2015 at 10:45 pm

            Hahaha okay well maybe I just feel like I’m getting old because there’s still soooo much I want to see and do!

            I did hint for a trip to Paris but it’s just an evening thing I’m afraid. I’m sure it will be fun whatever it is though!

            wisemonkeysabroad responded:
            January 22, 2015 at 10:48 pm

            Yes, there is still sooooo much to see – we will run out of time.

            Ahhh.. well, think of it this way, that you might get a trip to the theatre or a trip to a culinary adventure somewhere 🙂 Be sure to share what it is!

            Ayla said:
            January 22, 2015 at 10:49 pm

            I will! Thank you 🙂

    kayrpea61 said:
    January 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Onya, kids. Great post. For us it is a chance to get together with family. It is 50% better than a two day weekend. This year it works, as we now celebrate on 26th, irrespective of day of the week. When it falls on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, it results in a fractured week. So, out with the snags, light up the barbie, and enjoy. 😄

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Well summarised K! How did we forget to through in more slang? How could we not have used the word “snags” and “barbie”? 😉 Well, we hope you enjoy the day together with the family 🙂 And enjoy whatever ends up cooking on the barbie! Thanks for reading.

        kayrpea61 said:
        January 22, 2015 at 8:00 pm

        … and you’ll never catch me calling a “prawn” a “shrimp” either. 🙂

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 23, 2015 at 9:03 am

          NO WAY!! A prawn is a prawn and a shrimp is a shrimp. Can’t go calling a prawn a shrimp now, right? 😉

    Yuna said:
    January 22, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Wow, it would be nice if I could indulge in such nice event. It sounds great. I’d heard so much “no worries” while being there, and yes it was not as much as “G’day”. The most memorable “G’day” I hear (actually read) was in welcoming sign at Sydney airport. 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Hahaha! It is surprising how naturally the”G’day” sometimes just rolls off our tongues 🙂 And “no worries” is part of our vocabulary! These occasions bring us together! Hope you have been well.

        Yuna said:
        January 26, 2015 at 7:04 pm

        Stopping by just to say “Happy Australia Day!” 🙂

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 26, 2015 at 8:45 pm

          Thanks Yuna 🙂 Appreciate you remembering!!

    trablog said:
    January 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Indian Republic day also falls on the same day, Jan 26th 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Oh really??? Wow – we had no idea! So what will you be doing on Indian Republic Day? Do you have the day off work?

        trablog said:
        January 22, 2015 at 7:51 pm

        Of course it is a day off. Basically the celebrations are different from Straya day. It is more formal celebrations like hoisting the flag and that kind of stuff. This time Obama is visiting India on this day 😉

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm

          Interesting! A day off is always a treat, right?Thanks for sharing 🙂 Hope you enjoy the day! And your weekend…

            trablog said:
            January 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm

            Of course, a day off is what everyone is looking for 😉
            You too have a great day 🙂

    Mabel Kwong said:
    January 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Great wrap-up of Australia Day. As bad as BBQs are for our health, I love a good sausage sizzle with white bread 😀 And of course, I love eating meat pies and lamingtons as well! Not going to be doing much this Aussie Day. A couple of years a go I remember going out to the city to enjoy the festivities, watching the fighter airplanes fly overhead and watching the fireworks. Just maybe I will go and watch the fireworks again this year 😉 Have a fun one you monkeys and celebrate in style!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks Mabel 🙂 Who doesn’t love a good ole sausage sizzle. It seriously takes us back to the days when we were in primary school and having those on mufti days or fete days… We are having our annual picnic BBQ breakfast at the park and then no doubt followed by some cricket! You enjoy the long weekend 🙂

        Mabel Kwong said:
        January 23, 2015 at 12:03 am

        Picnic BBQ breakfast sounds delicious. One of you please throw a sausage on the barbie and eat it for me 😀 And since it’s summer, careful, don’t get sunburnt!

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 23, 2015 at 8:56 am

          Oh, we would never forget our sunscreen 😉 And will be indoors before midday!!

    Gypsy Bev said:
    January 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Sounds like a great holiday. Thanks for letting us know about it.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you for reading 🙂 Hope you have been well!

    yprior1 said:
    January 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    well I hope you all have a great day on 1-26 – I did not know this was a day of holiday – and looks like a good one! cheers!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thanking you! Three day weekends are always welcomed 😉 Hope you have a great rest of the week.

        yprior1 said:
        January 22, 2015 at 3:14 pm

        yeah, long weekends really break up the year – 🙂 enjoy yours! mmmmm

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

          Thank you 🙂 We don’t have any after this one until Easter now… so we better enjoy it!

            yprior1 said:
            January 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

            indeed – 🙂

    Sarah Ferguson said:
    January 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    How is beer drinking so low on the list?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Hahahahaha…. do you think it should be number 1? 😉

        Sarah Ferguson said:
        January 22, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        Most definitely! And I base this on my extensive knowledge (read: my Australian cousins and their copious beer drinking on all trips with them in the US or when we visit them)!

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          January 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm

          Aha! Experience is better than just hearing about it 😉

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