Rona Lomeli

Written by Rona Lomeli

Modified & Updated: 06 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Australia Day is a significant national holiday that is celebrated annually on January 26th. It marks the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson in New South Wales in 1788, as well as the raising of the British flag at that location. This day holds great cultural and historical significance for Australians, and it is commemorated with various events and activities across the country. From fireworks displays and barbecues to citizenship ceremonies and community gatherings, Australia Day is a time for people to come together and celebrate the diverse and vibrant nation that is Australia. In this article, we will explore 10 fascinating facts about Australia Day, shedding light on its origins, traditions, and modern-day observance. So, grab your boomerang and let's delve into the unique and captivating world of Australia Day.

Key Takeaways:

  • Australia Day, originally called “Foundation Day,” celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. It’s a day of national pride, but also sparks debate and reflection on Australia’s history.
  • Australians celebrate Australia Day with barbecues, fireworks, and the Australian of the Year Awards. It’s a time to honor their heritage and come together as a nation.
Table of Contents

Australia Day was originally known as “Foundation Day”.

When the First Fleet arrived in 1788, the day was initially celebrated as “Foundation Day” in New South Wales. It wasn’t until 1935 that all states adopted the term “Australia Day” to commemorate this historic event.

It is a day of national pride and celebration.

Australia Day is a time for Australians to come together and celebrate their country, culture, and achievements. It is a day marked by community events, fireworks, and citizenship ceremonies, where thousands of people become Australian citizens.

The date has sparked controversy.

While Australia Day is a day of celebration for many, it has also sparked debate and protests, with some Indigenous Australians referring to it as “Invasion Day” or “Survival Day,” highlighting the impact of colonization on Indigenous communities.

Australia Day is also known for the Australian of the Year Awards.

Each year on Australia Day, the Australian of the Year Awards are presented to recognize outstanding achievements and contributions to the local community and the nation as a whole.

It is a day for reflection and reconciliation.

For many Australians, Australia Day is a time to reflect on the country’s history, including the impact of colonization on Indigenous peoples, and to work towards reconciliation and understanding.

Triple J Hottest 100 is a popular Australia Day tradition.

For music enthusiasts, the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown has become a beloved Australia Day tradition, with listeners voting for their favorite songs of the year.

Barbecues and outdoor activities are a hallmark of Australia Day celebrations.

Many Australians celebrate Australia Day with barbecues, picnics, and outdoor activities, taking advantage of the summer weather to enjoy time with family and friends.

Fireworks displays are a major feature of Australia Day events.

Across the country, spectacular fireworks displays light up the skies, adding to the festive atmosphere of Australia Day celebrations.

Australia Day also marks the start of the Australian Open.

For sports fans, Australia Day signals the beginning of the prestigious Australian Open tennis tournament, attracting top players from around the world.

Australia Day is celebrated worldwide.

While Australia Day is primarily celebrated within the country, Australians living abroad also mark the occasion with events and gatherings, showcasing their pride in their Australian heritage.

Australia Day is a time to honor the history and diversity of Australia, and it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many Australians, making it a truly significant day in the national calendar.


What is the significance of Australia Day?
Australia Day holds great cultural and historical significance as it commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson and the raising of the British flag in 1788, marking the foundation of the colony of New South Wales.

How is Australia Day celebrated?
Australia Day is celebrated with various events such as community barbecues, citizenship ceremonies, concerts, and fireworks displays, offering a range of activities for people to participate in and enjoy.

Why is Australia Day controversial?
Australia Day is a subject of controversy due to its association with the arrival of the First Fleet, which also marks the beginning of the dispossession and marginalization of Indigenous Australians. This has led to ongoing debates about the date’s appropriateness and calls for changing the date of the national holiday.

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