What to do on Anzac Day

Anzac Day takes place each year on the 25th April, remembering the day Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli during World War I. It is a moment to remember those who sacrificed their lives for their countries and to celebrate the Anzac Spirit of mate ship, courage, endurance and good humour. It’s the most significant event in Australian and New Zealand military history and a time to reflect on the things that are really worth fighting for.

So if you’re looking for what to do on Anzac Day, here are four ways you can commemorate it:

Attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service

Dawn Services are held in major cities and regional centres across Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day, remembering those who have fought for their countries not only at Gallipoli but in World War II battles and subsequent wars. Dawn Services normally include speeches from dignitaries and politicians, the “Last Post” bugle call and a minute’s silence to pay respect to fallen soldiers.

Attend the Anzac Day Parade

Since 1916 (the year after the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli), Anzac Day parades have been held in cities across Australia and New Zealand. While they were initially to honour soldiers who had fought during World War I and rally for support, today they are a moment to recognise servicemen and servicewoman both past and present. Fewer and fewer veterans from the Great Wars are still alive, so many of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren now proudly wear the medals they won during the wars during the Anzac Day Parade.

Play two-up with war veterans at the pub

Anzac Day is the only day of the year that the traditional gambling game of “Two-up” is legal in Australia, having been a popular way for Diggers to pass time. It’s a great way to connect with war veterans at your local pub and listen to a yarn or two. Two-up involves throwing two coins (traditionally pennies) into the air, with players betting on whether the coins will fall with both heads up (“obverse”), both tails up (“reverse”) or one head and one tail (“odds”).

Attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli

For many Australians and New Zealanders, attending the Dawn Service at Gallipoli has become a once-in-a-lifetime Anzac Day experience. It’s an opportunity to stand on the soil where the battles took place and reflect on this influential moment in history. It’s also a great excuse to explore some of the incredible sights of Turkey, including the magnificent architecture of Istanbul, the breathtaking valleys of Cappadocia and the idyllic Turkish Riviera.

Interested in attending the Dawn Service at Gallipoli? Check out our range of exciting multi-day tours from Istanbul.