Anzac Day


Next Friday, 25 April 2025

Anzac Day is celebrated on April 25 every year in Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC stands for 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps'. 

It is a gazetted holiday in Australia that commemorates the first significant battle fought by Australia and New Zealand during World War I, also known as the Gallipoli campaign. 2024 marks the 109th anniversary of the historic battle where over 11000  Anzacs died.

A man observing silence on Anzac Day

Anzac Day is observed every year to remember and honor  all the Australian people who have served their nation in every war until now.  

History of Anzac Day: What Happened on April 25, 1915

On the Sunday morning of 25 April 1915, the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand troops) landed on Gallipoli Beach now known as Anzac Cove. However, their landing didn't go exactly as planned as they arrived some 2 km north of their intended landing zone.

Here, they faced strong resistance from the Ottoman army and intense fighting ensued as both sides dug trenches for cover. The Anzacs found it extremely difficult to climb up in the dark while artillery was being fired upon them.

The fighting continued for 8 months, contrary to the expectations of the Australian troops. It was in December that the Allies finally decided to give up on the Gallipoli campaign and retreat. 

The evacuation was also risky but they succeeded. However, the casualties were heavy. Over 50,000 Australians fought out of which more than 8000 died. Overall, more than 11,000 Anzacs died in the battle.

Why was Gallipolli Chosen

The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Germans against the Allies consisting of Britain, France and Russia on November 11, 1914. 

The Allies decided to defeat the Ottoman Empire by seizing the capital of Turkey or Constantinople. Gallipoli peninsula was only 130 miles away from Constantinople and thus the perfect location for launching a naval assault.

Therefore, in 1915, the Allies launched a large-scale naval and amphibious operation known as the Gallipoli Campaign. The objective was to secure control of the Dardanelles Strait, which would allow Allied ships to sail through and reach Constantinople.

Anzac Day Celebration and Customs 2024

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits are eaten on Anzac Day
Anzac Biscuits. Image by @ Ruthy  (CC 2.0, unedited)

Anzac biscuit is a symbolic food consumed on Anzac Day. It boasts of national pride and culture because these were apparently the biscuits that Anzac soldiers carried during WWI. It was a substitute for bread. There are many traditional and modern recipes for Anzac biscuits.  

Anzac Day Dawn Service Ceremony

Australian people who have served their nation in every war until now.
Australian servicemen attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service ceremony

Dawn Service ceremonies are held throughout the country on Anzac Day. The Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) organizes all of them.

  • In 2024, the RSL ACT Branch will organize the dawn service at 5:30 am in the Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard and Sculpture Garden. 
  • RSL WA will conduct the 2024 dawn service at 5:30 am at State War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth WA. 
  • If you are in South Australia, RSL SA will begin their dawn service at 6:00 am at the SA National War Memorial. 

No tickets are required so anyone can attend the service. The entire event will also be broadcast on ABC Television so make sure you don't miss it. 

Anzac Day March

ANZAC Day March in Adelaide, South Australia
ANZAC Day March in Adelaide, South Australia. Image by @Jenny Scott (CC 2.0, unedited)

On Anzac Day, marches are held throughout the country to honor all those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Once again, it is the Returned and Services League of Australia ( RSL ) that organizes these marches. 

In 2024, RSL WA will organize a march from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in St Georges Tce, Perth WA and RSL ACT Branch will conduct the Veterans' March at 9.30 am from Anzac Parade. 

Red Poppies- A Symbol of Martyrdom

A woman walking by a wall of red poppies on Anzac Day

Red poppies are a meaningful symbol of remembrance in Australia and other Commonwealth nations. People wear them on clothes, place them on memorials, and weave them into wreaths to honor those who have passed. They carry emotions of respect and gratitude, reminding us of the sacrifices made.

Complete Timeline of The Events Leading Up to Anzac Day

2 August, 1914

The Ottoman Empire decided to join Russia in the First World War against Russia and its allies Britain and France. A secret treaty was signed between them.

3 August, 1914

The Australian Government pledged its support for the United Kingdom by proposing a military force of 20,000 men and the direct control of the Royal Australian Navy in case a war broke out.

31 August, 1914

Churchill wanted to capture Gallipoli with the help of Greece to prevent the Ottomans from joining Germany in World War I. He thought controlling Gallipoli would help Britain keep important sea routes open and stop the Ottomans from helping their enemy.

October 28, 1914

The Ottoman Empire officially joined the war on the side of the Central Powers- Germany and Austria-Hungary.

3 December, 1914

The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) units landed in Egypt and began their training in Mena Camp. 

December 21, 1914

British Major-General William Birdwood took command of the New Zealand and Australian troops in Egypt. Both the units were combined into an army corps. This was divided into three sections- the 1st Australian Division, the New Zealand and Australian Division and a mounted division. Thus, the ANZAC was born. 

January 13, 1915

The British Government decided that the Admiralty should devise a naval invasion in the Gallipoli Peninsula to capture Constantinople, 130 miles away from Gallipoli. They thought that this would weaken the Ottoman Empire and the latter would withdraw from the war.

1 April, 1915

After the British and French ships failed to defeat the adamant Ottoman soldiers and clear the Dardanelles of mines, the Anzac Corps that was stationed in Egypt were told to move to the battlefield.

April 25, 1915

Originally scheduled for 23rd April but delayed due to the bad weather, the Anzac Corps finally landed on Gallipoli and heavy fighting ensued. 

Know about the Complete List of Public Holidays in Australia this year including National and regional holidays.  

Anzac Day
Anzac Day

Anzac Day - Next years

Saturday, 25 April 2026

Sunday, 25 April 2027

Tuesday, 25 April 2028

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