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Anzac Day 2017: Things To Do and Where To Go

the popular anzac biscuits

Observed as a day of national remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC Day falls on the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. The day was originally celebrated to recognise the soldiers who died in that battle, but now salutes all Australian and New Zealand soldiers, past and present, who have served and succumbed in all wars, clashes and peacekeeping operations.

perth war memorial in kings park

Customarily, people in Australia and New Zealand assemble and meet for a sunrise ceremony known as the Dawn Service, which is regarded as one of the most cherished and well received ceremonies on Anzac Day.

The Dawn Service is said to have established in the military routine called as the “stand-to.” Usually, the opposite armies struck in the limited light of twilight as well as dawn. Watchful at all times, the Australian military prepared their soldiers to stay awake and be vigilant at their posts with weapons prepared before the other armies could attack. Up to now, this stand-to technique is still used by the Australian Army. The Dawn Service recaptures those silent moments in the near-darkness, when soldiers had time to connect and reflect. While the earliest Dawn Services were vigils fulfilled only by veterans in total silence, all Australians are now encouraged to attend. Nowadays, services include readings, hymns, as well as rifle volleys and gun salutes.

The rite also involves traditions like the Last Post (a military bugle call, symbolising the end of the day's activities), wreath laying, and a reading of the Ode of Remembrance. 

In honour of Anzac Day, Aussies and Kiwis enjoy baking and eating Anzac biscuits. It's a popular myth that they are named Anzac biscuits because they were delivered to the Anzac soldiers during the war. The traditional Anzac bikkie is made from a mixture of oats, flour, coconut, butter, sugar, golden syrup and a few other ingredients. These days, you can purchase these biscuits in major supermarket across Australia and New Zealand.

Here are some famous locations for ANZAC Day commemorations in Australia

veteran soliders with medals at anzac day

Sydney

The Anzac Day celebration in Sydney begins at 9am on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Martin Place, which can be found above the train station. The Act of Remembrance is observed as participants pass the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park. Around 12.30pm, the main Commemoration Service is set at the Anzac Memorial which is close to the Pool of Reflection. The ceremonies wrap up at night with the short Sunset Service happening at 5pm at the Cenotaph.

Gold Coast

On April 25, gather outside  the Surfers Paradise RSL on Beach Road at 5:15am to march to The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise Beach  for the dawn service at 5.30am.
After the Dawn service, a gunfire breakfast is scheduled at the RSL. In Burleigh Heads, make sure to come on time Arrive at War Memorial Park in  Burleigh Heads Cenotaph, corner of Connor Street and Gold Coast Highway for a 4.28am service. 

The Australian War Memorial

Situated in the capital of Canberra, the Australian War Memorial holds one of the biggest ANZAC Day celebration. Popular activities include Dawn Service and national ceremony. Note that there is no allocated seating for the Dawn Service. Those who want to join are encouraged to occupy the seating put in place for the National Ceremony, or simply stand on the Parade Ground. 

Brisbane

Every year, the Brisbane Anzac Parade, along with memorial services,  dawn vigils, and veterans reunions have been a fixture of the ceremony of Anzac Day since its earliest days. This year, the Brisbane Anzac Parade will commence at 10:00am on April 25. Brisbane also holds a silent service at midnight , which is trailed by a Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance. Between ten and fifteen thousand people are present on the Anzac Day march in Brisbane enthralling fifty thousand of spectators flocking to show their support.

Melbourne

In Melbourne, commemorative services and marches are held at dawn at the Shrine of Remembrance, suburban RSL and many Victorian country towns. After the dawn service and march, the 'gunfire breakfast' recalls the 'breakfast' taken by many soldiers before facing battle. Dawn Service is scheduled at 6am at the Shrine of Remembrance, as thousands of veterans, along with their descendants and current serving personnel are expected to march down St Kilda Road, beginning at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets and concluding at the Shrine of Remembrance at approximately 1pm. The Commemorative Service takes place on the Shrine Forecourt.

Fremantle

The City of Fremantle annual Anzaca Day events are commemorated  via a dawn service and march. The dawn service starts at 5:50am at the Fremantle War Memorial Monument Hill. Note that expected ending of the service is around 6:30am. This is follwed by a dawn service through the ANZAC Day 2017 March and closing ceremony scheduled at 10:15am along Marine Terrace.

Perth

In Perth, the biggest Dawn Service in Western Australia starts at the State War Memorial on Fraser Avenue in Kings Park. This is followed by a Gunfire Breakfast for ex-servicemen at the Stirling Gardens, and the people to cover the  time between the Dawn Service and the parade, which concludes in a commemorative service at Langley Park.

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