Australia prepares to celebrate national day on Jan 26

Canberra: Australians will commemorate one of the highlights of their national calendar on Wednesday with an array of events big and small.

Australia Day, on January 26, is traditionally a summer holiday celebrated with family get-togethers, picnics and barbecues, sunbathing at the beach and flocking to outdoor concerts with many patriotic revellers bedecked with removable tattoos bearing the national flag, reports Xinhua news agency.

The biggest city, Sydney, has a packed schedule of crowd-pleasing events around the harbour beginning with a Morning Ceremony complete with Aboriginal artwork projected onto the “sails” of the Sydney Opera House.

Other highlights around the harbour will include an Air Force aerial display, a race featuring 19th-century sailing ships, a boat regatta, a concert and fireworks in the evening.

Meanwhile, one of the nation’s biggest Australia Day events, Skyworks, will be staged on the foreshores of the Swan River in Perth, the capital of Western Australia (WA).

WA has had the nation’s toughest border control measures throughout the pandemic and its tight restrictions led to last year’s Skyworks being shelved, and there were concerns the same would happen in 2022.

The WA government, however, confirmed earlier this week that the huge fireworks display, which usually attracts tens of thousands of onlookers, would go ahead.

“We have to be safe and we have to be smart,” Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas told local newspaper The West Australian.

“Everyone must wear a mask, but we can’t live in fear. Australia Day is a day worth celebrating, so the City of Perth’s position right now, is it’s on with the show,” he said.

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