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What Happens on ANZAC Day in Melbourne

This year marks 101 years since the events that took place at Gallipoli, and on the 25th April, celebrations will be carried out to commemorate and remember everyone who was involved.

Throughout Australia, there are thousands of events, parades, and festivals to mark the occasion, with plenty of Melbourne tours offering visitors the chance to experience the city on this special day of the year.

The initials ANZAC stand for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and the 25th April is the anniversary of the very first military action fought by these forces in the middle of the First World War.

Over the years, the ANZACs have become a stalwart part of Australian tradition, and a point of pride for the entire nation. They represent courage, endurance, and mateship, all of which are values held dearly by Australians well into the present day.

Gallipoli is the most prominent of the ANZAC events, when more than 25,000 Australians

were injured throughout an eight-month period on the Gallipoli Peninsula. A year later, in 1916, the anniversary of the event was celebrated across the world and was officially named ANZAC Day by the acting Prime Minister of the time, George Pearce.

By the time the 1920s rolled around, ANZAC Day celebrations were something to look forward to for Australians, with hundreds of events taking place throughout the country. Over the years, more and more veterans who fought on behalf of Australia joined in the marches, including those who spent time in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Korea.

The Events of ANZAC Day

Each year, the events of ANZAC Day unfold in a similar fashion. The day starts with commemorative services and a parade at dawn that takes place at the Shrine of Remembrance. Afterwards, a ‘gunfire breakfast’ takes place, which reenacts the ‘breakfast’
many of the ANZAC soldiers took before they faced battle.

The Dawn Service takes place at 6am each year, drawing in crowds from all over, including plenty of veteran soldiers. After the gunfire breakfast, there is the ANZAC Day March which starts at 9am and parades through the streets of Melbourne. To finish, there is a Commemorative Service at 1pm, after which several smaller, local events break out and offer attendees the chance to celebrate with family and friends.

Throughout the city, there are numerous festivals, street stalls, and street parties that bring locals together and offer a fun way to celebrate this major Australian day. 

Find out more about the history of the Shrine of Remembrance on a Melbourne City Tour.

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