Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Week

Happy Australia Day!!!

Today launches Aussie Week here at Bottomless Cup. As a few of you loyal readers know, I had the privilege of spending 3 weeks in Australia back in August. While I had planned to "live-blog" my experiences while there, Internet was hard to come by and my laptop gave out almost immediately upon landing in the southern hemisphere. When I returned home, I was quickly distracted with other things and never got the chance to opine about my experiences. Five months late, I chalk up this week's delayed memoirs to the laid-back Aussie way of getting to it when I get to it! ;)

I'll get on with my POV tomorrow. For today, it's all about the Tim-Tams, Coopers and celebrating with our Aussie friends. Australia has been celebrating their nation on January 26 since 1935, but the history of the national celebration goes all the way back to 1818. Dr. Elizabeth Kwan explains courtesy of

The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday on 26 January is a recent one. Not until 1935 did all the Australian states and territories use that name to mark that date. Not until 1994 did they begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date1.


The tradition of noticing 26 January began early in the nineteenth century with Sydney almanacs referring to First Landing Day or Foundation Day. That was the day in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove. The raising of the Union Jack there symbolised British occupation of the eastern half of the continent claimed by Captain James Cook on 22 August in 1770.2

Some immigrants who prospered in Sydney, especially those who had been convicts or the sons of convicts, began marking the colony's beginnings with an anniversary dinner - 'an emancipist festival' to celebrate their love of the land they lived in. Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the emancipists' friend, made the thirtieth anniversary of the day in 1818 a public holiday, thirty guns counting out the years of British civilization, a tradition Macquarie's successors continued.3

Go here for a most thorough history of this celebration.

What are you planning on doing to celebrate? For those of you in NYC, I suggest checking out Murph's Guide for a listing of Aussie-inspired events. Those of you outside of NYC, you'll have to do your own google searches!

Either way, I suggest you make your way to your local Target, where it is rumored that Tim-Tams, Australia's most divine chocolate biscuits are on sale for a limited time. After purchasing a fair share of these delicious cookies (limited time sales people!!!) treat yourself to a Tim-Tam Slam. What's that, you ask? I'll let Aussie native Natalie Imbruglia explain:



Pablo Javier Frizan said...

My sister lived in Australia around two months thanks to a scholarship or something like that. Shue bought me two boomerangs. And there they are. Hanging from my room roof. By the way. Why people always associate Australia with boomerangs and kangaroos?. That's really piss me off.

K. D. Bryan said...

Happy Australia Day to you too! I've never been but I've always wanted to visit. I look forward to hearing your stories about it.

I thought about creating an Australian-themed superhero post in response to this but the only Australian supertypes who came to mind were Gateway, Tasmanian Devil, Boomerang and Kangaroo. Not really that great a selection. Martian Manhunter patrolled Australia tho', if memory serves. Hmmmm.