Anzac Day 2016: What to Expect
Anzac Day falls on April 25 every year, which in 2016 will be a Monday. The day is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand, and it is commemorated in towns and cities across the countries as well as internationally wherever there are communities of Australians and New Zealanders. Here is what to expect in 2016.
How it Will Be Commemorated in 2016
Whether you are in Australia or New Zealand, the main commemorations are similar in both countries. They begin with the Dawn Service, which is held at the same time that the troops landed at Gallipoli in 1915. This is often a simple service, and the turnout is often large. It provides a quiet moment in the semi-darkness to reflect on the sacrifices made, and it is followed by the Last Post. In the past, only veterans could attend, but now the services are open to everyone.
There are then parades and marches through the major cities and towns during the day by people who fought in the World Wars. Thousands of people will often gather to pay their respects as the parades pass by.
These are then followed by services and ceremonies where prayers and memorial readings are made. Poems like ‘In Flanders Fields’ may also be read.
Anzac Day Celebrations in 2016
The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is the site of the largest commemoration, and activities are also held here before and after the day itself. A Dawn Service is held, as well as a march of veterans.
In Brisbane, a silent service is held at midnight on April 24. There is then a Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance, and a large march is held later in the day with up to 15,000 people taking part and many more spectators.
An Anzac Day Concert is also held in Fremantle, where the Anzac Day Derby is later played between North Fremantle and South Fremantle.
Similar events are also held in Melbourne and Sydney, where large marches take place and are watched on by thousands. In Sydney, the commemoration service is held at the Pool of Remembrance in Hyde Park South, and there is a Sunset Service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place later on.
Similar events are held across New Zealand. Here, Anzac Day underwent something of a renaissance in the 1980’s, and now it is an important day for the whole population. It is a day of national identity where the fallen are honoured, and it is celebrated in towns and cities across the country. In Auckland, there is a parade to the to Court of Honour and a service next to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Anzac Day Football & Two-Up
In Australia, Anzac Day Football is a popular sporting event. The main match is that between Essendon and Collingwood, which became an important tradition in 1995.
Two-up is a traditional game that is played on Anzac Day. It involves tossing a coin and betting on the result, and it used to be popular in the trenches. It is now played at pubs across Australia.
Celebrate Anzac Day in 2016
Anzac Day is an important occasion for Australians and New Zealanders around the world. If you are in either country, join in with the commemorations wherever you can. And no matter where you live, take some time on the day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.