Saturday, April 25, 2009

An Anzac Day tradition

Today is Anzac Day, a day when we celebrate the sacrifices made by our soldiers during conflict. The reason why it we celebrate on this day, is because on April 25, 1915, our soldiers arrived a Gallipoli, the first time that we had fought not as British soldiers, but as Australians. The word Anzac stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, and this is a day that we share proudly with our New Zealand comrade.

This day is a day I actually get very emotional and very proud to be an Aussie. There are the inevitable documentaries about various actions, either the debacle at Gallipoli itself or the conflict on the Western Front. If you are really keen you can go to the dawn service, or there are generally services later in the day, and a big parade in the city as well.

Over the last few years I have posted poems, and videos and stories of sacrifice, but today I thought I would post about something a little different.

It has often been said that Aussies will bet on just about anything, and on Anzac Day especially, if you want to throw some money away you might do it by playing Two-Up. It is actually illegal to run a Two Up game for money anywhere outside of a casino any other day of the year, but on Anzac Day two-up schools (which is what a game of two-up is called) pop up all over the place.

So what is two-up? Basically it is a betting game when you toss up two coins (traditionally pennies) and bet on whether they are going to land on heads, tails or odds (where the coins land with one head up and one tail up). Among the rules are the stipulation that the coins must be flipped up more than 1 metre above the head, and the spinner (the person flipping the coins) wins if they can throw 3 lots of heads in a row.

I was trying to find some video where the noise didn't just sound like a rabble, but one of the thing that goes hand in hand with two-up for many is drinking, but here is a short video of a veteran being the spinner (warning there is a little swearing at the end), and the second video is some radio announcers at a Brisbane radio stations learning how to play two-up.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


  1. Makes me get a bit emotional too Marg

  2. I think any holiday that makes us remember the men and women who have sacrificed in serving their country is a good holiday!

  3. I only learned about this holiday when I was listening to THE SECRET OF LOST THINGS. The main character was born on Anzac Day and named Rosemary, for remembrance.

    It sounds like a wonderful day to celebrate your country. Hope you have a great day!

  4. Thank you for introducing me to this holiday. I'm from the US and I had never heard of it!

    Happy Anzac Day to you.

  5. like kim, i've never heard of this holiday (or game) either. the internet is so wonderful--it connects me to other cultures and great literature! :)

  6. I am also from the U.S. and did not know about Anzac Day. Very interesting! I hope it was a good day for you.