ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day) is a national Day of Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand observed on the 25th of April each year, that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peace-keeping operations. Commemorative services and marches are held at dawn, the time of the original landing; mainly at war memorials in cities and towns across both nations and the sites of some of Australia and New Zealand’s more-recognised battles and greatest losses, such as Villers-Bretonneux in France and Gallipoli in Turkey against the Ottoman Empire during WWI.
One of the traditions of ANZAC Day is the “gunfire breakfast” (coffee with rum added) which occurs shortly after many dawn ceremonies and recalls the “breakfast” taken by many soldiers before facing battle. Later in the day, both ex-servicemen and ex-service women march through the major cities and many smaller centres.
- ANZAC Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga, and previously was a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
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