MILLIONS of Australians and New Zealanders will be celebrating Anzac Day at the weekend.
But when did the event start and how do people celebrate the day?
When is Anzac Day?
Anzac day is today. The date remains the same every year – April 25.
This year it will be the 104th anniversary of the Anzac landing in Gallipoli in 1915.
The commemorations were first held in 1916, and now the date is used to remember not just WW1 Anzacs, but all Australians and New Zealanders who have lost their lives in war.
What is Anzac Day?
Anzac Day is an Australian and New Zealand national day of remembrance.
It commemorates the day Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli, Turkey, during the First World War.
It remembers their sacrifice as the 1915 Gallipoli landing, also referred to as the battle of Anzac Cove, resulted in a great loss of life.
Anzac Day was made official on April 25 the following year, 1916.
It initially started as a day to remember the soldiers who died in that conflict, but it was later expanded to all Australian and New Zealand soldiers who served in all war and peacekeeping operations, past and present.
It is a national public holiday in Australia and dawn services are held.
Anzac Day 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the Australian Army Battle for Villers-Bretonneux which saw Australian Brigades leading British forces against the German Army.
What does Anzac stand for?
Anzac is an acronym of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
The men who fought in the Australian and New Zealand corps were known as Anzacs.
The pride they took in that name has become a legacy today.
How is Anzac Day celebrated in Britain?
Usually, a service is held at the Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park, London ahead of a wreath laying and a parade at The Cenotaph in Whitehall.
This is usually followed by the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey attended by members of the Royal Family.
These services have since been cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak – however people can still pay their respects with events taking place online.
At 8.30pm on Friday and at dawn on Saturday, a services of national commemoration will be broadcast from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
This will be followed by a service hosted by the High Commissioner for Australia and the Acting High Commissioner for New Zealand, before a cultural program takes place in the afternoon.
A special play reading will then take place in the evening. You can watch all the broadcasts here.
The Westminster service will not be going ahead, however the day will still be commemorated with a podcast, wreath laying, prayers and a blessing by the Dean of Westminster, which you can watch online at the Westminster Abbey website.
Why is Anzac Day marked?
The date is used to remember those who lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign, which sought to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war.
It took place in the Gallipoli peninsula, modern day Gelibolu on Turkey's European side.
Both sides suffered heavy casualties, with over 8,700 Australians and 2,700 New Zealanders losing their lives in the allied expedition.
Although the Gallipoli campaign’s mission to knock the Empire out of WW1 was a stalemate, the actions of soldiers are revered and respected today.
The “Anzac legend” became part of the identity of both Australia and New Zealand.
How do people celebrate Anzac Day?
The day traditionally kicks off with commemorative services at dawn, to mimic the time of the troops landing in Gallipoli.
Dawn was often a time for attack due to the preference of catching the enemy in the near-dark.
Later on during Anzac Day, marches are held by former and current servicemen through cities, and ceremonies are held at war memorials.
The National Ceremony is held at the Australian War Memorial, which includes hymns, laying of wreaths, a one minute’s silence and the national anthems of the two countries being played.
However this year events will be slightly different, and those who wish to pay their respects can do so online.
Official advice from the Australian government advises people to "privately commemorate Anzac Day, in-line with the latest health advice".
Some people eat special foods such as an Anzac Day biscuit, which is made from oats, sugar, butter, flour, boiling water and syrup.
These biscuits were thought to have been sent from wives to soldiers abroad, due to them keeping for a long time during their journey.
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