Happy Wattle Day
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
September 1st marks the first day of spring in Australia and is also the celebration of Wattle Day. The wattle (acacia) is a flowering shrub-like plant with over 1350 different species throughout the world and has been in Australia for over 35 million years. LE Bray Reserve in Glenferrie Hawthorn is home to a few varieties of wattles. Some beautiful displays of wattles can also be spotted in residential gardens in the area.
The golden wattle, commonly found throughout Victoria and featured on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, is the insignia of the Order of Australia. The colour of the foliage and flowers, green and gold, are usually worn by Australian sportspeople who represent the country internationally. In 1988, Australia's bicentenary, the golden wattle was officially proclaimed the national floral emblem.
Prior to the official proclamation, the wattle was widely accepted as a national symbol and, in 1901, became the unofficial national floral emblem to mark Federation. The first Wattle Day was celebrated in 1910 in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. However, it was not until 1992 that September 1st was formally declared National Wattle Day.
The wattle, with close to 1000 species in Australia from a single genus, is symbolic of Australia's diversity, resilience and unity. According to the Wattle Day Association the wattle illustrates that "we are one and we are many." Wattle Day on 1st September has been suggested as an alternative date for Australia Day, as the celebration of the wattle is inclusive and representative of Australia's history and future.
Although Wattle Day celebrations will not go ahead as usual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wattle Day Association suggests other ways to celebrate. Wear a sprig of wattle or the colour yellow, greet one another with a 'Happy Wattle Day', go for a walk and enjoy the wattles in bloom or sing a wattle song with the children in your life.
Happy Wattle Day.