Canberra Day

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Canberra Day is a public holiday celebrated second Monday of March each year in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region of Australia. Canberra is the only city in the territory, Canberra had its 100th birthday in 2013.

Canberra Day is a public holiday to celebrate the naming ceremony of Australia’s Capital which took place on 12 March 1913, during which Lady Denman, the wife of the then Governor-General Lord Denman formally named and founded the city.

Canberra was selected as the location for Australia’s National Capital, and is located in the Australian Capital Territory since 1908 as compromise rather than choosing either Sydney or Melbourne. Canberra is frequently referred to as Australia’s ‘bush capital’ because of it’s size and isolation relative to both Sydney to the north and Melbourne to the south. Canberra Day is celebrated with a public holiday for all people in the Australian Capital Territory, and there are many events that take place during March each year as part of the Canberra Day celebrations.

The reason Canberra Day celebrated on second Monday of March is to maintain celebration day would fall closer to the original date of 12 March.

Canberra is a national capital separate to Sydney or Melbourne was initially discussed in the late 19th century, and New South Wales transferred land to the newly formed commonwealth in 1911 for this purpose. Canberra is a planned city, designed by American architect Walter Burley Griffen (after whom the lake is named). Almost the total number of people living in ACT today live in Canberra itself.

Annual events associated with Canberra Day include the Canberra Festival, which runs for two weeks in the lead up to Canberra Day. It is an outdoor community event that involves everything from a car show to fireworks to a hot air balloon spectacular.

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