The bright yellow of wattles in the National Rhododendron Garden welcome Spring as Melbourne puts away its winter cloak. Wattles, especially the Golden Wattle, have deep significance for Australia and Australians as the nation's gazetted floral emblem since 1988. They also represent home, country, kindred and love, and wattle springs were placed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on a wreath to remember the 38 Australian citizens and residents killed in the MH17 plane tragedy.
Photo courtesy of Wattle Day Association
In 1992, a 'National Wattle Day' was officially declared on the 1st day of September each year. On this day, Australians would wear a sprig of wattle or the country's green and gold colours and greet one another with 'Happy Wattle Day'.
As Australia Day on 26 January gains greater prominence and celebration throughout the country, Wattle Day is often forgotten. Thanks to the Victorian Folk Music Club (VFMC) and Traditional Social Dance Association of Victoria (TSDAV), you can join in their celebration of all things Australian on Wattle Day in Melbourne
Both organisations have assembled a day of traditional dance and music activities on 6 September in Ringwood East, starting with a morning of music and dancing in the street, followed by an afternoon of workshops and an evening family bush dance. Visit the VFMC website for a details programme. Here are some of the highlights of their Wattle Day celebration.
Music and dancing in the street
Wattle Day celebrations start off with some spontaneous street dancing, to the tunes of the VFMC's buskers. You are invited to join in from 11am to 12pm along Railway Avenue.
Dancers of any level are welcomed to learn a selection of novel and fun bush dances from 1pm to 3pm in the Senior Citizens Hall for just $5.
This workshop held in the Scount Hall will offer group singing in two or more parts that are easy to learn and fun to sing from 2.30 to 3.30pm at $5 per person.
Kids and Family Entertainment
The Reserve and Community Hall will be the venue for family entertainment between 4pm to 5.15pm. There will be arts and craft, puppet show, Maypole dancing and balloon performances.
Family Bush Dance
The Senior Citizens Hall will host a bush dance for the whole family from 7.30pm to 11pm. Even adults and kids who have never done any bush dancing can join in as instructions will be provided. A light supper is included at $12 per person.