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 australiaday.org.au:
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.Go here for a most thorough history of this celebration.
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
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: