Coinciding with the first day of spring, September 1st marks Wattle Day.
The history of the day goes all the way back to 1910 when celebrations were first held in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, the day was scheduled to be proclaimed a nationwide observation before World War 1 interrupted those plans.
In the midst of war, the flower took on a special meaning. The golden wattle which is native to Australia became a strong symbol of patriotism during the war years. More than just a symbol of patriotism however, the wattle has become an emblem of comfort, optimism and hope to those in difficult times.
Sprigs of wattle and colourful badges were sold on Wattle Day to raise money for the Red Cross throughout the war years and the flower was also sent overseas in letters during the war and presented to service men and women upon their return to Australia.
This year in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and with stay-at-home orders in place, celebrating wattle day takes on a special meaning once again.
There are a range of ways you can celebrate the day including:
- WEARING a sprig of wattle or the uplifting colour of yellow
- PLANT a wattle in your garden or wattles in a grove or revegetate a landscape
- GO FOR A (COVID SAFE) WALK to enjoy wattles in flower around your garden, suburb, nearby bush or arboretum
The wattle is of course not the only flower to bloom during spring, with the change of season bringing warmer wetter and generally more sunshine. While things are difficult for many at the moment, the start of spring is a great time to get outdoors (in a COVID safe way) and enjoy the delights of nature. Fresh air and exercise are proven to be beneficial to your mental health and overall wellbeing.
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