Anzac Day Buying Guide

Every 25 April, Australians and New Zealanders come together to observe Anzac Day .  Though this national day of remembrance was originally meant to commemorate the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I, it has now been extended to recognise all national veterans.  This year, show your support for those who fought and died for the country with a celebration of your own.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

--"For the Fallen," Laurence Binyon 

History and Tradition

This most important of national occasions marks the anniversary of Australian and New Zealand troops landing at Gallipoli in 1915, in a plan established by British Prime Minister William Churchill.  In an effort to capture Istanbul and defeat the Ottoman Empire, ANZAC forces were to capture the peninsula and thus open the way for the Allied navies.  Unfortunately, this strike did not go nearly as quickly as intended and instead dragged on for eight months, with thousands of casualties; however, its legacy is a key milestone for the national identity of citizens in both countries.

In 1916, 25 April was officially designated as Anzac Day in Australia, and New Zealand followed in 1920. There are now many traditions associated with the holiday: services occur at dawn (the time of landing on the peninsula) where veterans were originally ordered to "stand-to" and observe two minutes of silence. In recent years, the younger generations have been encouraged to participate in Anzac Day activities, and therefore services in Australian capital cities are extremely well attended. As a result, the ceremonies have grown more elaborate, and hymns, prayers, and readings are now incorporated. Thanks to the 1915 poem, In Flanders Fields , written by Canadian soldier John McCrae, red poppies  are commonly associated with remembrance in Allied countries; therefore, families will place them besides the names of their relatives on the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The blooms can be worn on a lapel  as well, though rosemary  sprigs are also quite common.

Though the mood on this day is typically quite sombre, there is still some room for fun. The annual Anzac Day Clash between Essendon and Collingwood is held in Melbourne, and though its timing is seen by some as an opportunistic way to belittle the holiday, others feel that the match celebrates the Anzac spirit with "courage, sacrifice, endurance and mateship." You be the judge.

Food and Drink

Today is truly the occasion to indulge in some of your favourite national treats.  Read on for more information.

Anzac Biscuits 

These crunchy treats were made by women on the home front and sent to their soldiers overseas. The Australian War Memorial has several traditional recipes, but for a chewier version, check out

Lamingtons  and Pavlovas 

What better way to celebrate than with some typically Australian and Kiwi desserts? Be bold and make your own, or follow the searches above to buy some online.


After the morning's hustle and bustle of remembrance ceremonies has finally settled down, relax and unwind with a cup of Billy  or herbal tea .


If you're planning on watching the match, have a couple of mates round and make an occasion of it. For other game day recipes, check out

Looking for more ideas?  Try cooking up some meat pies, damper, or beef and beer pie.

Education & Fun

Get involved!  There are some wonderful books and documentaries on the subject of Anzac Day, and if you're feeling sporty, show your support with a spontaneous football match with friends.

The Anzacs: From Gallipoli to the Western Front 

 Pedersen combines photographs and artwork with soldiers' accounts to create a moving tribute to those who fought.

My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day 

This book is a wonderful way to teach small children about the importance of the holiday.

Enough Rope with Andrew Denton: Anzac Day 

Denton 's 2006 special featuring interviews with six Australians observing Anzac Day.

Anzac Day Football Victories 6 DVD pack 

For those of you who can't wait for this year's match, why not check out some highlights from past Anzac Days?

NSWTA Classic Touch Football 

The official NSW ball will ensure that you're in fighting shape for this year's clash.

Related Guides

Australia Day

The Queen's Birthday


Melbourne Cup


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