Today is a public holiday in Australia. (As a teacher I would prefer that public holidays didn't fall during school holidays. It does not make it feel special at all.)
Anzac Day is commemorated by Australia and New Zealand on 25 April every year to remember members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who landed at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. Anzac Day is also a public holiday in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga.
All across Australia there were dawn services where wreathes were laid, prayers said, "the Last Post" played, and the national anthem is sung. Often the fourth stanza of a poem, "For the Fallen" is recited.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
(by Laurence Binyon)
After the dawn services there are marches, or parades, where service men and women march to commemorate the diggers (soldiers) lost during war.
And then there are games of Two-up in pubs (and lots of beer drinking I imagine), the only day it is legal in Australia to play this game.
Anzac BiscuitsTraditional biscuits baked by anxious wives and mothers during World War I, packed in food parcels, and sent to the Australian soldiers in the trenches.
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
125g (4oz) butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 300F (150C)
Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
Melt syrup and butter together.
Mix soda with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup.
Add to dry ingredients.
Place 1 tablespoonfuls of mixture on greased tray (allow room for spreading).
Bake for 20 minutes.
Loosen while warm, cool on trays.
(makes about 35)
These are yummy. One of my favourite biscuits of all time.