chapter  33
9 Pages

Australia celebrates

An exploration of Australia Day festivals and national identity
ByLeanne White, Elspeth Frew

This chapter explores how Australians celebrated Australia Day historically and in 2017 and considers these festivals and events in the context of national identity development and Australian nationalism. It discusses three main types of nationalism – official, popular and commercial. The chapter considers the variety of events organised when Australians celebrate their national day and discusses what this tells us about who Australians are and how they view themselves as a nation. It notes that the Australia Day festival includes many ways to celebrate nationalism, from mainstream events funded by the government to self-effacing, satirical and offbeat events such as backyard cricket, lamington-making, whip-cracking displays and pie-eating competitions. The chapter demonstrates the ways in which Australia Day remains an important part of the Australian national consciousness. It utilizes Falassi's theory of rites or 'movements' at festivals to demonstrate that Australia Day events reflect many aspects.