Canberra Day

National and Public Holidays in ACT, Australia Public Holiday in Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Australian Parliament House in Canberra

When is Canberra Day in ACT?

Year Day Date
2017 Monday March 13th
2016 Monday March 14th
2015 Monday March 9th
2014 Monday March 10th
2013 Monday March 11th
2012 Monday March 12th
2011 Monday March 14th

Canberra Day is a public holiday celebrated in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region of Australia. Canberra is the only city in the territory.

Canberra Day is celebrated on the second Monday in March. The day celebrates a ceremony that was held on 12 March 1913, during which Lady Denman, the wife of the then Governor-General Lord Denman formally named and founded the city.

Canberra was selected as the location for Australia's capital in 1908 as compromise rather than choosing either Sydney or Melbourne.

The word "Canberra" is popularly thought to derive from the word Kambera or Canberry which is claimed to mean "meeting place" in the old Ngunnawal language, one of several Indigenous languages spoken in the district by Aboriginal people before European settlers arrived.

Until 2007, Canberra Day was celebrated on the third Monday in March, but it was moved to the second Monday in March as that means it would fall more often close to the actual date of 12 March.

Annual events associated with Canberra Day include the Canberra Festival, which runs for two weeks in the lead up to Canberra Day. It is an outdoor community event that involves everything from a car show to fireworks to a hot air balloon spectacular.

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