January 26 is Australia Day – a day for celebrating being Australian.
This national public holiday consists of hundreds of events taking place across the country, including parties, concerts, parades, sporting events, barbecues, fireworks, and more. Let’s take a look at just some of the events that will be held in Sydney this year:
WugulOra Morning Ceremony: celebrating Australia’s Indigenous people. The Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to honor Australia’s first people. The national anthem is performed in English and in Aboriginal language.
Every Man and His Dog Stand Up Paddle (SUP) : SUP events for all levels of participants, including your dogs, at Watson’s Bay.
GIO Oz Day 10K Wheelchair Race: world athletes racing and preparing for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Trailblazers: Australia’s 50 Greatest Explorers: an interactive exhibition of the country’s greatest explorers at the Australian Museum.
Yabun Festival (Victoria Park, Camperdown): a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The free event, held on the lands of the Gadigal people, includes arts, dance, music, traditional Indigenous games, and rugby activities.
The Wiggles Concert: a sold out singing and dancing event at the Sydney Opera House.
Lord Mayor’s Citizenship Ceremony: welcoming tens of thousands of new citizens from over 20 countries at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
Ferrython: First Fleet ferries are decorated and headed to the finish line under the Harbour Bridge.
Cruising Concerts: two custom-built floating stages with bands that make stops in locations around the harbour.
Australia Day 2016 – Live at Sydney Opera House: an evening concert by popular Australian musicians (Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew, Cyrus, Thirsty Merc, and more) and a fireworks display.
Sunset Ceremony (Nawi Cove, Barangaroo Reserve): a traditional Aboriginal Sunset Ceremony to say goodbye to grandfather, the Sun. Features traditional music and dancers.
Australia Day events are held around the world. Look for Australia Day activities happening in your community.
Special Note: It is important to recognize that not everyone celebrates this day. Some Indigenous Australians refer to January 26 as “Invasion Day”- the day in 1788 when the British settlers arrived on Australian land. It is important to acknowledge this perspective as well.