On ANZAC day there are a number of events and celebrations that you can attend in order to show your respect to all Australian and New Zealand veterans including dawn services, the veterans march, local school parades, commemorative breakfasts and formal luncheons.
This year, as well as attending the traditional ceremonies, why not try some of these other unique ways to commemorate ANZAC day:
Host a gunfire breakfast: Feed the troops with a hearty breakfast so that they have the energy to sustain the celebrations of the day ahead. The idea of a gunfire breakfast originated from WWI and usually consisted of a rough breakfast of coffee/tea laced with rum before the soldiers resumed battle in the morning. There is not a lot you can do wrong when coming up with a menu for a gunfire breakfast. You could keep it traditional with bacon and eggs or make it buffet style with a mix of your favourite Aussie foods such as vegemite toast, meat pies, scones and even pavlova. Alternatively, for a breakfast take on pavlova – serve up a parfait. In individual glasses layer Greek yoghurt with mixed berries and kiwi fruit all topped with crumbled Anzac biscuits and meringue.
For the drinks be inspired by the veterans by adding a nip of rum to the tea or coffee.
Don’t forget to create an ambience of ANZAC spirit. Set the table with blue and red plates, cups and so forth. For a great effect and for easy clean up, serve food in these Australian treat boxes. Use wreaths and poppies for table centerpieces.
Bring some treats to the RSL Veterans Home
Contact the RSL veteran home in your area, and either arrange to drop in for a one off visit on Anzac day or elect to become a community visitor. Spend time with a veteran, listen to their stories and provide them with companionship. Don’t forget to bring in a big tray of homemade ANZAC cookies, scones or cupcakes. Make iconic Australiana cupcakes with this cupcake party pack.
Raise a glass at the local RSL
On ANZAC day drop in at your localRSL Club for a drink and meal. Talk to those around you about the ANZAC memories you hold close to your heart and don’t be shy about joining in on the game of ‘two-up’. Celebrating like this will help the ANZAC legend live on.
While you are there make sure you give a little by making a donation to the RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund, or any other RSL associated fund. Get in the spirit by wearing the Australian flag proudly – see our Australian Spirit party collection here.
Host A Dinner
Close the celebrations of Anzac day with a dinner party or BBQ. When it comes to decorating the party it is important to remember that Anzac Day is all about symbolism so a little research is required to get you in the theme and mindfully inspire your decorations.
Here are some ideas for ANZAC Day food, party ideas and dinner table décor:
- Cite The Ode of Remembrance poem: The Ode of Remembrance is part of a poem by Laurence Binyon that is recited on Anzac Day. The crowd usually responds to the poem by saying, "We will remember them", or "Lest we forget". Print out a copy for everyone and set it on the table to be recited before the meal.
- Make red poppy and rosemary wreaths for table centrepieces: The laying of wreaths is a very important part of ANZAC Day celebrations, as flowers have traditionally been laid on graves and memorials in memory of the fallen. Incorporate this ritual into your table setting by placing small wreaths made of red poppies and rosemary.
- Scatter red poppies: While poppies are traditionally associated with Remembrance Day on November 11, they have also become linked to ANZAC Day. Scatter a few silk poppies along the table runner or pop a bunch at one end of the table.
- Incorporate the Australian Flag: Show your Aussie loyalty with a few Australian flag toothpicks stuck in cheese and pepperoni snacks. And if you are having a casual outdoor BBQ or picnic, then go all out with some flag napkins, paper plates and cups.
- Take one minute to remember: At some point in the party arrange to have one minute's silence to remember the soldiers who have fallen.
Choose a menu that incorporates Australian-themed dishes, such as damper, meat pies, meat mains infused with rosemary and Pavlova for dessert!
However you choose to observe this significant Australian date, ANZAC day will long represent a time of respect, reflection and reverence and is an important occasion to pause and consider those impacted by the effects of war, and the nations shared hopes for a more peaceful future.
Lest we forget!