26.1 AUSTRALIAN HOLIDAYS – podcast episode 26.1 – transcript

This time a follow up episode about Australian Holidays, starring Kate from Australia.

Here’s the transcript!  

All the best,  


Listen to the episode on iTunes or here:



M – Today we’re talking about AUSTRALIAN HOLIDAYS

M – This is a special episode, a follow up.

C – Yes, hey everyone, do you remember episode number 26 about American Holidays? For example we mentioned : Presidents day, Memorial day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans day, Thanksgiving and so on. Today we’re going to learn something about Australian holidays instead!  A big thank you to our dear friend Laura who is currently living in Australia and provided us with the recording of Kate’s voice: 100% Australian “Aussie” accent! Kate and her husband are the owners of a farm in the South-West of Western Australia.

M – It’s going to be interesting!

K – G’day! My name is Kate. Here in Australia we have nine National Holidays which are celebrated all over the country. The States and Territories individually declare some other public holidays such as the Canberra Day (2nd Monday in March in the Australian Capital Territory), the Foundation Day (June in Western Australia), the Proclamation Day (December in South Australia) and the Picnic Day (August in the Northern Territory).

C – Picnic Day sounds good, doesn’t it?

M – It does!

K – Getting back to our National Holidays, first of all, we have NEW YEAR’S DAY, on January 1st. Actually, New Year’s Day celebrations commence in most capital cities on 31st December, with festivities and fireworks at midnight to welcome in the New Year.

Secondly, AUSTRALIA DAY. Australia’s national day is held on 26th January in recognition of the arrival in 1788 of the First Fleet, a group of 11 ships that sailed from England to establish a colony in Port Jackson, Australia. Australia Day celebrations include Australia Day Honours, Australian of the Year Awards (which are given to deserving citizens who have inspired the community through their achievements and must be taken as an example to create a better Australia), Citizenship ceremonies, concerts, carnivals and family entertainment. It is a drinking day and it’s often celebrated with a BBQ (also called the Barbie).

C – Ok, so number one: New Year’s Day, number two: Australia Day.

K – Thirdly, LABOUR DAY. It commemorates the achievements of the Australian labour movement. The celebration of Labour Day has its origins in the eight hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. On 21 April 1856 Stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne, stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight hour day. Their direct action protest was a success and they are noted as the first organized workers in the world to achieve an eight hour day with no loss of pay, which subsequently inspired the celebration of Labour Day. The Labour Day public holiday varies between the various states and territories.

M – Cindy, can you remind us of Labor Day in the States instead?

C – It’s celebrated on the first Monday in September. And we spell it L-A-B-O-R, not LABOUR. No U.

M – Ok, let’s go on.

K – Number 4 and 5 are GOOD FRIDAY and EASTER MONDAY. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter and in Christianity commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death. Here, it is celebrated on the first Friday after the full moon on or after 21st March. Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday.

Number 6 is ANZAC DAY. The Anzac Day Act 1995 declares the 25th of April as a national day of commemoration in recognition and commemoration of the contribution of all those who have served Australia in time of war and in war-like conflicts. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and was first used when Australian and New Zealand soldiers were grouped in Egypt, prior to their landing at Gallipoli in Turkey during the World War I. Anzac Day commemoration features marches by veterans and by solemn “Dawn Services”, a tradition started in Albany, Western Australia on 25 April 1923 and now held at war memorials around the country, accompanied by thoughts of those lost at war to the ceremonial sounds of The Last Post on the bungle. The fourth stanza of Binyon’s poem For the Fallen (known as the “Ode of Remembrance”) is often recited.

C – Ok, so Anzac Day on the 25th of April, commemorating all those who served Australia in time of war. Marta, isn’t the 25th of April a war-related national holiday in Italy as well?

M – Yes, here in Italy we celebrate the end of World War II. The very same day of Anzac Day.

K – Number 7 is the QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY. The day has been celebrated since 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of King George III. Until 1936 it was held on the actual birthday of the Monarch, but after the death of King George V it was decided to keep the date at mid-year. In all states and territories except Western Australia (because it celebrates its Foundation Day on the first Monday in June), the Queen’s Birthday is observed on the second Monday in June. On this day the “Queen’s Birthday honours list” is released naming new members of the Order of Australia and other Australian honours. The Queen’s Birthday weekend was long the traditional times for public fireworks displays in Australia. Although they still occur, the tradition has recently been overshadowed by larger New Year’s Eve fireworks, as the sale of fireworks to the public was progressively banned by the states in the 1980s.

M – How about fireworks in America instead?
C – New year’s Eve and Independence Day (that’s The 4
th of July) are definitely the right days to see amazing fireworks anywhere around the United States.

K – Number 8 is CHRISTMAS DAY. Christmas Day, on December 25th, is a Christian celebration in commemoration of the birth of Jesus. We usually have an English-style lunch or a seafood BBQ, while on Christmas’s Eve many drinking parties are organized.

Last but not least is BOXING DAY. It is on the day after Christmas (December 26th), except in South Australia, where the first otherwise working day after the Christmas is a public holiday called Proclamation Day. The origins of Boxing Day are believed to be British, and related to the practice of the wealthy giving gifts of money, food or goods to the poor. Boxing Day is noted for the start of the post-Christmas sale season… it’s a shopping day!! The day has also become a significant sporting day. Melbourne hosts the Boxing Day Test Match and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race also starts on this day.

Well, it was very nice talking to you all. See ya later!

C – And it was nice listening to you Kate and your wonderful Australian accent!

M – Thank you so much for being our guest! And thanks to Laura too!

C – All right, that’s all for now, we hope you’ve enjoyed this special episode about Australian holidays.

M – Come visit us on www.myamericanfriendblog.com

C – …where you can find the transcripts of our episodes, together with lots of posts, pictures, videos, and the links to our other pages on Facebook, Twitter, Podomatic, our Youtube channel and iTunes. If you’re interested in private lessons via skype just send us an email at myamericanfriendpodcast@gmail.com and we’ll contact you as soon as possible. Bye everyone!

 M – See you soon! Bye bye!

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