What is ANZAC Day?

Anzac Day in Australia

If you’re currently in Australia or Turkey you’ve probably been hearing a LOT about ANZAC Day over the past couple of weeks. Read on to find out why…


ANZAC = Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

  • ANZAC Day = April 25
  • What = A day where Australians and New Zealanders honour the people who serve our country, and to commemorate our first involvement in WWI: the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey.
  • Why = WWI started only a few years after Australia became an official country, so it was our first major act as a nation. The ANZACs fought bravely at Gallipoli, but eventually retreated from the battle after 8 months of fighting and heavy casualties.
  • ANZAC biscuits = delicious biscuits that you can eat all-year-round, and are amazing with tea and coffee. They are based on a biscuit that was included in ANZAC soldier rations in WWI.


Australians recognise 25 April as an occasion of national remembrance, which takes two forms. Commemorative services are held at dawn – the time of the original landing at Gallipoli – across the nation.

Later in the day, former servicemen and servicewomen meet to take part in marches through the major cities and in many smaller centres. Commemorative ceremonies are more formal and are held at war memorials around the country.

In these ways, Anzac Day is a time at which Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.

The Dawn Service

If you have the opportunity to attend a Dawn Service, don’t miss it – even as a visitor to Australia, the Dawn Service leaves a powerful impression of how proud Australia is to have such an honourable history.

Why are they playing trumpets?

The Bugle (an instrument similar to a trumpet) is an important part of every ANZAC ceremony. The first piece of music you hear at a Dawn Service is called The Reveille, and was played at dawn every morning in battle to signify the start of the day. In other Ceremonies they will play The Rouse instead. There is usually a minute of silence, and then The Last Post is played. The Last Post was played at sunset in the war to signify an end to the day, and is also played at soldiers funerals to this day to signify the end to their service to their country.

If you’re curious, you can hear some recordings of these bugle calls here.

What does “Lest We Forget” mean?

Lest We Forget is a very old-fashioned phrase, and it means “in case we forget” – it is said as a reminder to never forget the pain of war and the loss of lives. It is used in many English-speaking countries for the same purpose – to remember those who died in battle.

Why do they have ANZAC Day in Turkey as well?

ANZAC Day is also commemorated in Turkey at Gallipoli, with a dawn service and other ceremonies to honour both the ANZACs and Turkish lives lost there. Many Australians, New Zealanders and Turks lost family members in the battle there, and Turkey allows Australians & New Zealanders to travel there every year to commemorate our combined history at the site. Now this is also seen as a celebration of peace and friendship between our nations after our terrible history.


If you attend a service or ceremony, or any event to commemorate the ANZACs, simply listen to the services and speeches and respect the history that is shared at these events. You do not have to attend any of these events if you do not wish so.

Published on by AI.