Australia hosts several events to celebrate its unique cultural identity throughout the year. Some of these events are as follows:
Australia Day commemorates January 26, 1788, the day on which Captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag for the first time at Sydney Cove. It is a public holiday and hundreds of small as well large events take place all over the nation. Thousands of people come to Sydney Harbour foreshore to participate in celebrations on the water.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is celebrated all over Australia in February in order to recognize the nation’s long Chinese cultural heritage. Lanterns, firecrackers, and silk dragons form part of the celebrations. In the Chinatowns in Australia, community feasts are conducted. You can see the Great Dragon in Melbourne’s streets and in Sydney the festivities include a Grand Parade, night markets and Dragon Boat races.
Sydney Mardi Gras
The Sydney Mardi Gras is considered to be one of most important cultural festival in the world for gays and lesbians. It spans for two weeks in February and March. Thousands of people throng the Oxford Street through Darlinghurst in Sydney on colorful floats during the Grand Parade.
Melbourne Flower and Garden Show
In March (autumn) each year, the Melbourne International Flower as well as Garden Show is conducted at Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens which is listed as a World Heritage site. The biggest flower and garden show, perhaps in the whole of southern hemisphere, showcases not only the creativity, but also the passion of top landscape and floral designers in Australia.
Melbourne Fashion Festival
Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival is held in March in Melbourne, the city that is regarded as the fashion and shopping capital of Australia. The festivities last for a month and include celebration of design, creativity and fashion. The event includes shows that feature established as well as emerging designers and models, beauty workshops, state-of-the art production, and industry seminars and forums and live entertainment.
Australian Fashion Week
In March, Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week is held in Sydney. Celebrities and style-setters come to get updated on the trends as well as the creations of their favorite Australian designers. Special VIP package tours are organized to take visitors behind the scenes. Sydney Fashion Week is held in August.
Melbourne Comedy Festival
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, one among the world’s largest three comedy festivals, runs for more than three weeks each year. The programs include stand-up comedy, theater, cabaret, street performance, etc. With over 600,000 people witnessing the programs, it has become one of the largest cultural events in Australia.
Centenary of Canberra
In 2013, the centenary celebrations of Canberra provides an opportunity for locals as well as visitors to know more the about the capital city. The celebrations that will last for a year include events to showcase not only the best of Canberra and its people, but also the milestones that have shaped the history of Australia.
ANZAC Day is held on April 25 every year, marking the anniversary of Australia’s and New Zealand’s Army Corps action in World War I. The national ceremony is attended by the Prime Minister as well as the Governor General and is held at Canberra’s Australian War Memorial.
Some of the other major Australian cultural events include Sydney Royal Easter Show in April, The Noosa (Queensland) Longweekend Festival in June, OzAsia Festival in Adelaide in September, Feast Festival in Adelaide in November, Christmas Pageant in Adelaide in November and Christmas in December.