Anzac Day is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand, commemorating all soldiers who have died in war. Celebrated on April 25th, each year.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, honoring all soldiers who have died in war. The original remembrance was linked to a battle fought during World War I at Gallipoli, on April 25, 1915. A.N.Z.A.C. is an acronym for the Australia / New Zealand Army Corps.
Both countries fly their national flags at half-mast until noon and raise them again through the end of the business day. Poppy wreaths are placed at war memorial sites. (Poppies are often a part of memorial holidays tied to World Wars I and II. It is said that during the spring, one could see the war trenches in European poppy fields.) Wearing a sprig of rosemary on one’s lapel (over the heart) is done in symbolic memory of deceased soldiers. “Anzac biscuits” are traditionally eaten as well.
Anzac Day originally commemorated a specific battle fought by Australian and New Zealander soldiers during World War I in Gallipoli, Turkey. Forces from Australia and New Zealand joined British forces (along with French troops) attempting to secure safe sea passage to Russia through the Dardanelles. They stormed the beaches of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. The Turks put up a tough fight, and there were many casualties before a foothold was established at what is called “Anzac Cove.” An evacuation was ordered in December 1915. Over an eight-month period of fighting, A.N.Z.A.C. lost 8,587 soldiers and was left with 19,367 wounded.