Australia Day, 26 January 2009

January 27th, 2009 - 3:12 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Australia Day is an official national day of Australia, also know as the Anniversary Day/ Foundation Day. Annually celebrated on this day because the day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia.

The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday on 26 January is a recently, until 1935 the Australian states and territories used that name to mark that date. In the year 1994, the Australians begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date.

Records of the celebration of Australia Day date back to 1808, with Governor Lachlan Macquarie having held the first official celebration of Australia Day in 1818. In 2004, an estimated 7.5 million people attended Australia Day celebrations and functions across the country.

On the eve of Australia Day each year, the Prime Minister announces the winner of the Australian of the Year award, presented to an Australian citizen who has shown a “significant contribution to the Australian community and nation”, and is an “inspirational role model for the Australian community”.

Various music festivals are held on Australia Day, such as the Sydney Big Day Out, the Triple J Hottest 100, and the Australia Day Live Concert. In the last ten years, a One Day International cricket match in the Australian Tri-Series has been held on Australia Day at the Adelaide Oval.

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