Why do we celebrate National Wattle Day?
Australia’s National Wattle Day on 1 September has been an official national national day since 1992, although it was first celebrated in 1910. Wattle in all its variety symbolises optimism, resilience, renewal, diversity and unity.
Australians have celebrated Wattle Day for different reasons over the last century including patriotism, a reminder of home for those fighting wars overseas, fundraising for community causes and enjoyment of nature.
Perhaps Dr Rod Panter summed it up best when he wrote in 1997 that:
Wattle and Wattle Day can symbolise virtually anything we want, but they relate generally to Spring, being Australian, the Australian environment, and history. Spring has many positive values such as optimism, bounty and abundance, reliability, colour, and so on.
…Wattle Day…looks forward (to Spring) and can celebrate the nation’s undoubted qualities of optimism, fairness, generosity, informality, democracy and good humour,
Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
Photo: ©S.D. Searle