Canberra Day (ACT)

Canberra Day Quick Facts

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2020 Date9 March 2020
2021 Date8 March 2021
Canberra Day (ACT)

Canberra Day History

Canberra Day celebrates the official anniversary of Canberra's founding and naming ceremony. On 12 March 1913, Canberra was officially founded and named Canberra. Canberra Day falls during a 10-day period called Celebrate Canberra where citizens celebrate the beauty and diversity of Australia's capital city. The city became Australia's official capital in 1901 and has since developed into a major tourist destination and hub for Australians.

Canberra Day is an official public holiday in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March.

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Canberra Day Facts & Quotes

  • Every year, the Canberra Citizen of the Year is named on Canberra Day. This citizen has been nominated for the titled due to impressive contributions to the city and its people.
  • Canberra is located on the ancient lands of the Indigenous Ngunnawal people. It is thought that Canberra’s name means ‘meeting place’, derived from the Aboriginal word Kamberra.
  • The first Commonwealth Parliament House opened in Canberra in 1927. The Australian Capital Territory became a self-governing territory in 1989.
  • The Australian Capital Territory was declared on January 1, 1911.
  • I had some vague memory of visiting Canberra as a lad, when we came up with my father by car. But when I made the long train journey from Sydney to Canberra and arrived at the little stop, I did wonder slightly whether this really was the national capital - John Henry Carver, Australian physicist.

Canberra Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Attend the Canberra Festival. The festival is a series of events that take place throughout the month of March. Some events include concerts, performances, shows, car shows and much more.
  • Learn more about the city of Canberra and the establishment of the Australian capital by reading books on these topics. Some of our favourites include: The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding, Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia and Canberra 1912.
  • Spread awareness about Canberra Day on social media with hastags #CanberraDay, #Canberra and #CelebrateCanberra.
  • Host a Canberra celebration at your home. Place facts about Canberra into a hat and play agaisnt each other to see who is the most knowledgable about the cty. Also try playing games to see who can rename the city today and award a prize for the best name chosen.
  • Enjoy the three-day weekend by getting out of the city. Many Canberrans take advantage of this holiday to get out of the city and enjoy the countryside by camping, barbecueing or simply relaxing.

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