Every January a holiday comes around that unites a nation under a banner of drinking, partying, firework–watching fun. It’s Australia Day, celebrated on January 26, and while it doesn’t have the overt historical significance of some other nations’ patriotism–inducing holidays (it commemorates Captain Phillip’s arrival at Sydney Cove in 1788, but nobody actually knows that) it’s every Aussie’s favorite excuse to plaster themselves in temporary tattoos and wear a skirt made from the Australian flag. From the government’s website on the matter:
On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.
It’s the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.
As you can see, we don’t give a damn about Captain Phillip and his boatload of convicts; beer is the significant part of our culture we’re interested in reflecting on. Hey, it’s Summer and it’s a public holiday, what else are you going to do?
We may have been on the wrong side of the international date line, making our January 26 more in sync with Australia’s January 27; we may have been on the wrong side of the equator, making our shorts, wifebeater, and flip–flop–clad holiday unseasonably cold; we may have been holed up in the cozy little hamlet of Hagerstown in the snow, making us the only Australians for fifty miles in any direction; and we may have had limited access to what passes for Australian beer (don’t believe what they tell you, nobody actually drinks Fosters down under); but we intended to make it a memorable Australia Day nonetheless. After stocking up on snaggers (sausages), bread, the requisite ingredients for lamingtons and pavlova, and a few cases of Fosters, we thought we might be able to give it a decent shot. Our new Hagerstonian friends were invited, culturally significant desserts were prepared, and Triple J’s sixteen–hours–too–early webcast of the Hottest 100 (live from the Big Day Out) was audio–hijacked to my laptop for later playback… ensuring a genuine experience.
I’d say it was a success. The photos tells the rest.