Canberra Day 2020

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

Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Canberra Day is celebrated on the second Monday in March.

When is Canberra Day?

How long until Canberra Day?
This holiday next takes place in 322 Days.
Dates of
Year Weekday Date
2020 Monday
2019 Monday
2018 Monday
2017 Monday
2016 Monday
1 Day
Public Holiday in Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The day celebrates the official naming of Canberra in 1913.

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.

History of Canberra Day

The holiday 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 meant 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.

As part of Canberra's birthday celebrations, the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award is presented by the Chief Minister in March each year. Introduced in 1989, the award recognises citizens who have made a major contribution to the community.

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