Australia Day 2013

Australia Day is celebrated on 26th of January every year. At first I thought it is some sort of Australian ‘independence’ day, similar to the American 4th of July, or for us Indonesians, the August 17th. But it is not. The day that celebrates the establishment of the country is called Federation Day, which falls on January 1st (I knew this from one of the Grimm‘s episodes). Australia Day is to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet in  New South Wales in 1788.

It is a huge day for the Australians, including the new citizens who pledged their loyalty to Australia that day. Lots are celebrating the laid-back day with barbies (the Aussie slang for BBQ). Some others including me just jumped to public places to join the celebration. I started at Hyde Park.

Hyde Park is the oldest public in Australia. It reminds me a lot of Central Park in New York because it is where you can find the trees and fresher air to breathe. In the southern part of the park, there stands the ANZAC war memorial. Many people took the chance to take pictures with the welcoming guards.

The Flag

The Flag

ANZAC War Memorial

ANZAC War Memorial

Posing with old cars

Posing with old cars

I particularly went to Hyde Park for lunch because there were some food trucks. I had Veggie Patch Van’s Zucchini Burger (zucchini, pea, and feta patty with spinach, beet relish, and caramelized onion). Delicious and considerably healthy :D.

Veggie Patch Van

Veggie Patch Van

Zucchini Burger

Zucchini Burger

After having my burger, I strolled around the park and found tons of activities for kids and families. I envied them.

Kid's corner

Kid’s corner

Australian Sheep

Australian Sheep

Promoting Chinese New Year

Promoting Chinese New Year

After that I headed to Darling Harbour, and found these giant kangaroos hopping around.

Aussie Kangaroos

Aussie Kangaroos

Some people were already booking their spots for the fireworks at 8.45 pm. I did not want to wait that long, so I went home for a while.

Around 7. 30 pm, I went to Darling Harbour again with a friend. The NSW governor was giving a speech at that time to present awards to Australians of the Year. The event continued with boat parade until the fireworks show.

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The sky was finally dark enough for the fireworks. Hearing my friend’s experience last year, I had a high expectation of the show. It didn’t fail me. The whole show ran about 20 minutes, about twice as long as the new year fireworks. The light, music, and the fireworks were synchronized beautifully, painting the dark canvas of the sky. There is something about fireworks that are so magical, and every time I saw them, I could not help myself but to savor the moment.

That concluded my first spectacular Australia Day. If God’s willing, there will be next year, but who knows?

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