Wattles have held a special place in Australia's heart and culture for quite some time. When in flower, the golden wattle displays our national colours - green and gold.The same species has graced Australia's Coat of Arms for over 100 years and can be found on the insignia of the Order of Australia. Aboriginal people have an important traditional relationship with several wattle species, which they have used for food, fuel, medicine and even weapons.
On 1 September 1988, Golden Wattle was officially declared as Australia's national floral emblem and in 1992, the first day of September each year was officially recognised as 'National Wattle Day' by the Commonwealth of Australia. Let's look at the reasons why Australia celebrates Wattle Day and 5 fun ways to join in the festivities.
What does Wattle represent?
With more than 760 different species that grow right across the country, the wattle is a symbol of unity. Like Australians themselves, wattles are diverse. They come in all shapes and sizes and are found in all of our natural environments - from the outback to the tropics - yet they are all recognisable as part of the same family. Wattle is perfectly suited to survive Australia's droughts, winds and bushfires. The resilience of wattle represents the strong spirit of the Australian people.
In recent years, the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) has been used as a symbol of remembrance and reflection. For example, on national days of mourning many Aussies wear a sprig of wattle.
Wattle symbolises Spring as it starts flowering in Winter and welcomes the season of new beginnings. Wattle Day not only signifies the first day of Spring, it also represents 'Australianness', the Australian environment, and our history. Wattle Day is a great opportunity for us all to celebrate what it means to be Australian, along with the nation's good sense of humour, fairness, generosity, natural beauty, and diversity.
5 fun ways to celebrate Wattle Day
Here a five fun ways you can celebrate Wattle Day and Australia's floral heritage:
1) Plant wattles
A lot of schools plant wattle trees and shrubs around their grounds every year on Wattle Day. But it is also a great way for the whole family to get involved in something that they all will be able to admire and enjoy for years to come.
2) Wear a wattle sprig, green or gold, or wattle-inspired accessories
One of the easiest ways to get involved in Wattle Day is to wear something green and gold. If you happen to have wattle growing in your garden you might like to wear a sprig in your hair or attached to your clothing.
A beautiful way to get into the spirit of the day is to wear an item of wattle-inspired jewellery like one of these stunning pieces pictured here below. Both of these items and all of our other wattle-themed Bits are Australian made so they are perfectly more suited to this Aussie celebration.
Wattle Earrings Hexagon Wattle Print Necklace
Wattle Cufflinks Wattle Gold Pendant
3) Organise a picnic, morning tea, lunch/dinner or BBQ with a wattle themeWhy not invite your friends and family over for a wattle themed gathering? We have a great range of kitchenware and other accessories featuring Australian native flowers including wattle, such as these gorgeous matching wooden placemats and coasters by Mokoh Design.
4) Teach your kids about Wattle with some educational activities and games
Wattle Day is the ideal opportunity to teach your children about Australia's diverse native flora and fauna. You might want to play some wattle games or do some colouring-in using these Australian Wildflower cardsfeaturing original artwork is by Australian artist Helen Ashley.Educational and fun, the cards can be sent as a sealed postcard to someone special like the grandparents or even their favourite teacher.
5) Give your friends and family Wattle-inspired gifts
Share your passion for wattle and Wattle Day with your loved ones by giving them a wattle-inspired gift. From Australian Wildflower 2016 Calendarsto stylish pens made of Australian Black wattle timber, you will find the ideal wattle-themed present to suit everyone's tastes.
Wattle greeting card
Black Wattle Wooden Pen Printed Wooden Wattle Cufflinks
To browse all of these delightful gifts and more head to our vibrant online store. Bits of Australia wishes you a wonderful Wattle Day!