Anzac Day – How to be Australian for a day
It is pretty clear why Anzac Day is such an important day to all Australians. I am not only talking about the ones born here but also the ones who migrated to Australia, integrated themselves and now call the land Down Under their home.
“Lest we forget” is not only a saying but a feeling, which is in the air all day long. Everyone is patriotic and no one is excluded from celebrating this day in honor of all Australian Soldiers and Veterans who are fighting or fought for their country.
The day usually starts with attending a dawn service. I went to a 6am ceremony in North Bondi right in front of the beach. The scenery was so impressive, you would not be able to look away from it, while the service was run and priests and army officers would speak and honor those who represent the country in any wars or conflicts. It was a special feeling, standing there with everyone and being part of it.
As the sun shone bright we got coffee and breakfast afterwards to sit at the cliffs next to the beach and watch the waves. Can you blame me? 😉
But as Anzac Day has just begun, we ventured out to one of the many pubs to meet friends and gamble. Yes! Ever heard of 2Up? No worries, let me tell you about it.
This gambling game is only allowed on this one day of the year, and you can be sure everyone plays it.
Will you win or lose it all? 2Up – The Anzac Day Game.
In the middle of a big crowd will be a game master with a little wooden board and two coins of the same size. The crowd now starts to bet which side of the coins (2 heads or 2 tails) will be up after throwing them in the air. So if you bet on heads you raise your $ notes and point them to your head. The person who want to take your bet will then bet the same amount of $ you hold up, so for example $10. Your betting partner will bet for tails and will leave his money with you until the game is decided.
Now it’s the game masters responsibility to grab a person of the surrounding audience to be the designated ‘spinner’ (person who throws the coins). The spinner has 3 attempts to throw the coins. The goal is to land a 2 heads up or 2 tails up. Once the coins show two same sides up, the game master will pronounce the result and show it to the crowd with hand signs. Now the one who bet on the correct side up wins the money. No discussion, no back offs – all fairness and fun and easy to play!
Now I was standing in this crowd and heard them all screaming “Heeeeeead ’em up!” if they’ve bet on heads. It’s a lot of fun watching it, heaps of cheering surrounded me and the atmosphere was great! If you don’t want to lose too much, just start out with $5 or do it like me – stand in the crowd and watch and cheer.
Anzac Day is a peaceful day. Full of “we belong together” spirit, gambling, laughter, patriotism, loads of booze, old and new stories and people who enjoy each others company. And one is for sure – you do not have to be Australian by birth certificate to celebrate Anzac Day, you are most certainly welcome to celebrate with everyone, if you are Australian by heart.