Canberra Day is observed on the second Monday of March to commemorate the designation of the city on March 12, 1913. People from the Australian Capital Territory to Jervis Bay Territory celebrate this public holiday. Before the city’s establishment day, a two-week-long celebration is taking place. Throughout the month, numerous events related to the day are held, including an award ceremony, a hot air balloon carnival, and fundraisers.
The background of Canberra Day
Canberra is the capital of Australia and the country’s largest inland city. Numerous distant characteristics, such as planned townships, an open skyline, mountainous terrain, and year-round agreeable weather, distinguish it from the rest of the nation.
Indigenous people have inhabited Canberra’s prairies and valleys for over 21,000 years. Canberra’s etymology can be traced back to the indigenous word Kamberri, which was in use before Europeans discovered the continent.
During the early decades of colonisation, the landlocked region of the territory received little attention. Throughout the 19th century, Europeans continued to establish their strongholds, driving the majority of indigenous people out of the city. The efforts of notable settlers such as the Murray and Gibbes families elevated the city to national prominence.
The designation of Canberra as the capital of Australia was finalised after much debate, as Sydney and Melbourne appeared to be more developed and prepared to host the government seat. The issue was resolved, however, by the constitutional mandate of section 125, which states that the capital must be located in the state of New South Wales. The eager passage of the Government Seat Act in 1908 altered the trajectory of Canberra’s history.
Lady Gertrude Mary Denman, wife of then-Governor-General Lord Denman, proclaimed the city’s official name on March 12, 1913: “I name the capital of Australia, Canberra.” Since then, the third Monday of March has been observed as a celebration of Canberra’s greatness. In 2007 the date was changed from the third Monday of March to the second in order to be closer to its original date of March 12.
CANBERRA DAY ACTIVITIES
Investigate the metropolis of Canberra.
Start the day at the National Gallery of Australia, spend the afternoon rowing on Lake Burley Griffin, move to the sombre embrace of the Australian War Memorial, and close the day at some of the country’s finest dining establishments.
Prepare a brunch
Is there anything that can surpass luncheon in March? Certainly, a brunch will be served on Canberra Day, a federal holiday. Take your family and friends out for brunch, as the menu calls for unlimited mimosas, smoked salmon, the perfect egg salad, and an extra-large slice of carrot cake.
Enjoy the Balloon Spectacular in Canberra
Annually hosted in March, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular is a festival of hot air balloons. Over the course of two weeks, over fifty hot air balloons are launched into the heavens. The celebration coincides perfectly with Canberra Day, as it brings joy to the city and draws thousands of spectators from across the nation.
5 essential facts about Canberra
32% of Canberra’s resident population was born overseas, making it one of Australia’s most diverse cities.
Some of Australia’s finest distilleries, breweries, and wineries are located in Canberra.
In the streets of Canberra, bicycles outnumber automobiles, clearing the way and reducing carbon emissions.
The majority of Canberra’s districts are named after former Prime Ministers, demonstrating the city’s political leanings.
Despite its reputation as a “boring metropolis filled with lobbyists and politicians,” Canberra is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations.
CANBERRA DAY DATES