Every year on the 25th of April Australia and New Zealand commemorate their efforts during World War I, when the ANZAC soldiers fought for months against the Turks in Gallipoli in horrible conditions. Many men died in what historians call a baptism of blood, as it was the first time the ANZAC forces fought together as independent countries.
In order to remember this sacrifice in no man’s land, every year on the 25th of April people gather very early in the morning to follow the Dawn Service. Veterans and civilians pray together and listen to “The Last Post”, a hymn that remembers war casualties.
ANZAC day is also the only day where it is legal to gamble in pubs. In fact, people are allowed to play a game called two-up, which was very common among soldiers on the battlefield. The game consists of throwing 2 coins in the air and participants bet on the outcome (2 heads or 2 tails). Basically, everyone who wants to bet places their bills either on their foreheads or on their back and looks for someone to bet against. Once everybody has found a counterpart, a person called the “spinner” places two coins on a wooden stick and throws them in the air while standing in a rectangular area. A moment of still silence follows. After that, people assess who has won and who has lost.
Two-up was very popular among Irish and English immigrants but was then replaced by other games like baccarat and slot machines. Today it is still played during ANZAC day in many pubs. If you go to the Rock markets you can buy the wooden stick and the coins that are used for this game.
Article was written by ESTER
“Hi! My name is Ester, I work for Go Study Australia and I have been living in Sydney for almost two years. I love to read about different cultures and traditions, there is always a lot to learn!”