Recognize and celebrate the heroes and she-roes of the World!

Don’t let the darkness of the past cover the brightness of the future.

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance held on April 25 to honor the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in World War One. It is also a national holiday for all Australians.

This day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day to remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of ANZAC, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for the sense of national identity. On ANZAC day, ceremonies are held in towns and cities across the nation to acknowledge the service of veterans. The official ANZAC Day Parades begins at 9am and travel throughout the cities and are followed by a heartfelt  commemoration service for the lives that were lost and the ones that still serve the country.

Soldiers wear Rosemary on Anzac day. It is an ancient symbol of remembrance. The Greeks believed that the plant stimulated the memory and at funerals, mourners would throw sprigs of rosemary into the grave as a memorial for the dead. Its significance to Anzac Day is simple: The shrub grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Diggers recall the pungent scent as they scrambled up the hills at Anzac Cove under a hail of Turkish machine gun fire, and for some, it became a scent that haunted them upon return to Australia.

After the morning events you round the friends and family up for good old fashioned BBQ. We headed back to of the beach home where the smoky aroma of sizzling kangaroo meat, fresh salad and red wine filled the air.  As you can see by the video above, the music was pumping and the good vibes were flowing.

2-Up: As part of the ANZAC Day celebrations a number of pubs play the traditional Aussie gambling game of ’2-up’. Players bet on whether two or three coins (traditionally pennies) will fall heads up or down. It’s good fun to watch the excitement from the crowd grow as each bet is placed.

Here are some hard and fast rules on how to enjoy this exciting game that is only allowed to be played on this day of remembrance:

Choose your bet: Supposedly tails it’s the unlucky side of the coin (as told to me by the head betters) When I spoke to the tails betters the screamed “Tails never Fails!”. Both sides of the betters suggested for me not to fraternise with opposing betters, buy them beers, or talk to them. The crowd was a very lively bunch indeed.

Don’t be indecisive: Nobody wants to associate with someone that changes allegiances, betting on tails, then heads as the whim takes them.

Never: Take money from a 70-year-old gent wearing medals. Just forget to pick up your winnings from him, or slip the cash into his jacket pocket and disappear into the crowd.

Do scream ”HEAD ‘EM UP!”: As loudly and as many times as you’re physically capable off. Preferably next to opposing betters.

Do question the spinner: It’s your money, you should be able to ask the person tossing the coins if they’re feeling lucky, did they eat a bad prawn the night before, or have they had success with the opposite sex lately. The Aussies say it all counts with Lady Fortune.

Do peacock: If you’re a spinner, you have the right to strut around and make as big of a show of it as you can, especially if you’re an attractive woman. Just toss high, spin the coins and land ’em on the ground.

My heart was a little lonely as I watched everyone pass by with their friends and family. Although I wished my loved one were here in OZ with me to experience the history, traditions, dancing, letting out the inner child on the playgrounds….It was still an amazing day to add to the books with wonderful new friends.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Deano
    May 03, 2012 @ 21:34:55

    Nice observation of an important day in my homeland. One other important ceremony in most towns and cities is the dawn service and the playing of the last post.


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