With Anzac Day falling on the same weekend as Easter this year, there are lots of entries in the Dictionary which explore some of the many Sydney traditions which will be marked over the next few days.
The Royal Easter Show at Homebush is the nation’s largest annual event, attended by over 900,000 people. The relocation of the Show from Moore Park to Homebush in 1998 wasn’t the first time the venue had changed. The Agricultural Society of New South Wales held its first show at Parramatta in 1823, with prizes for rams, cheeses and beer as well as high performing servants (probably no showbags though). By 1869 the four day event known as the Metropolitan Inter-Colonial Exhibition was being held in Prince Alfred Park, before moving to Moore Park in 1882.
Apart from their annual pilgrimage to Homebush, many Sydneysiders will also be attending church to celebrate the Christian festival of Easter. The buildings in which they worship can say a lot about the history and traditions of their faith, which you can read about in the Christian Church Architecture entry.
On Monday, Anzac Day will be observed across Australian and New Zealand. The parade in Sydney will begin at Martin Place after the dawn service at the Cenotaph. The Cenotaph is only one of the landmarks in Sydney that commemorates the Anzacs. The Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney’s official monument to the war dead, was opened in 1934, and the Anzac Bridge was opened in 1995, while other monuments in suburbs across the city mark their communities’ losses.
Apart from the games of two-up, another Anzac Day tradition, the rugby league Test match between Australia and New Zealand, will also take place, this year on the Gold Coast. Players from either side of the Tasman have been competing since the code was developed, when an All-Maori team toured Sydney in 1908 & 1909 to promote the game, though this didn’t end well for the Maori players.
Why not hop around the Dictionary this long weekend and see what else you can find?