Can you believe that we are already two months into the New Year? Summer’s end is upon us, and as we roll into March and greet the welcome cool change of Autumn, 2019 is quickly losing its “newness”.
The arrival of autumn for another year heralds the arrival of a number of key international holidays and national public holidays for Australians, from religious and cultural holidays to holidays of significant importance to Australia and our history as a nation.
In Gregory Hills, these special occasions are embraced by our diverse community in southwest Sydney. Here’s a look at some of the key holiday dates coming up over the second quarter of 2019.
Shrove Tuesday: Tuesday March 5
A Christian holiday – also known as ‘Pancake Tuesday’ – Shrove Tuesday marks the day before Ash Wednesday. While named for its historical religious significance, like any holiday worth its while, Shrove Tuesday is chiefly marked by feasting and celebration. So have at it!
Ash Wednesday: Wednesday March 6
Coming hot on the heels of Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday is a Christian holiday that marks 46 days before Easter Sunday. As the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday takes the celebratory highs of Shrove Tuesday and flips them 180°. It’s all about self-restraint and abstention – which one could probably do with after partying away Shrove Tuesday.
Saint Patrick's Day: Sunday March 17
Speaking of partying, possibly the hardest partying international holiday of all, Saint Patrick's Day, rolls around on Sunday March 17. The Feast of Saint Patrick, as it is also known, commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, while also celebrating the heritage and endearing culture of the Irish. But you needn’t technically be Irish to mark St Paddy’s Day, so don’t let that minor detail stop you from donning something green and perhaps strolling down to Gregory Hills Hotel for a pint of Guinness this St Pats Day.
Easter Long Weekend: Friday April 19 – Monday April 22
The mother of all long weekends will take place from Friday April 19 to Monday April 22 this year. With hot cross buns and an assortment of Easter chocolate products in supermarkets months in advance, there’s really no excuse not to be ready for Easter 2019 come the morning of Good Friday. Four-day long weekends are extra special, particularly when they involve the mountains of chocolate usually found on Easter Sunday.
Harmony Day: Thursday March 21
Marking 20 years since its inception in 2019, Harmony Day is a day to celebrate Australian multiculturalism and mark the successful integration of migrants into the Australian community. It is all about inclusiveness, respect, belonging and embracing the broad cultural diversity that represents 21st Century Australia. Since 1999, more than 70,000 Harmony Day events have been held in childcare centres, schools, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies across Australia. Will you be attending one this year?
National Close The Gap Day: Thursday March 21
Taking place on the same day as Harmony Day, National Close The Gap Day supports and campaigns for the improvement of health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. TheClose the Gap campaign is the result of the Australian public’s overwhelming support for improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
ANZAC Day: Thursday April 25
How will you be remembering and honouring members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps this ANZAC Day? It’s a great day of Two-up in the pub with your mates, but make sure you start it right by getting down to an ANZAC Day dawn service for ANZAC Day 2019 if you can.
Ramadan Start: Monday May 6
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and marks an important period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims in Australia. Many Muslims in Australia fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan to mark this time of self-examination and increased religious devotion.
Queen’s Birthday: Monday June 10
Like a fine wine, Queen Elizabeth II seemingly gets better with age. Ageing gracefully in the truest sense of the word, in 2019 we will mark the Queen’s 93rd birthday and her 67th year as the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Be sure to raise a toast to the Queen of all queens this Monday June 10.
More about our Gregory Hills community
For a closer look into the town of Gregory Hills and to find out what’s happening and what makes our southwest Sydney community a great place call home, check out the Community & Lifestyle section of our website now or read the latest from the Gregory Hills blog.