Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Wattle Day
SunSep 1

Wattle Day – September 1, 2024

Bring in the (Australian) spring by celebrating Wattle Day, held annually on September 1. This day heralds the start of the spring season in Australia, a season when the ‘acacia’ species (commonly known as the wattle in Australia) sprouts flowers in abundance. This was not the original purpose of this day, however. Wattle Day was intended to promote and enhance patriotism in the then-new nation of Australia.

History of Wattle Day

The origins of Wattle Day can be traced back to Tasmania when the first Hobart Town Anniversary Regatta was held in the 1800s. The island was celebrating the anniversary of its discovery by the Dutch, and they initiated a procession under an arch decorated with wattle blossoms. They even suggested the audience wear a sprig of silver wattle blossom in future regattas. This was switched out with the black wattle — more commonly grown during the month of the celebration — and this custom continued till at least 1883.

Even literature and poetry honored the wattle from the 1860s to the early 1900s, and people participated in wattle waltzes and drank wattle beer. There was a push for Australia to recognize the wattle as the national flower during this period, which was further compounded by the establishment of the ‘Wattle Club’ in Victoria. Founded by Archibald James Campbell, an ornithologist, and field naturalist who was passionate about Australian wattles, this club organized special outings especially during September for wattle appreciation. He was also one of the first people to mention the creation of a special day to celebrate Australia’s most famous flower. This interest only increased in the years following this war, and continued till the 1930s, after which disinterest set in.

About 50 years later, green and gold were declared Australia’s national colors, and the interest in wattles grew again. Soon, the push for creating a special day to celebrate the wattle grew again, and a Wattle Day League was formed in 1910. Headed by Sydney Botanic Gardens director, J. H. Maiden, this league was headquartered in Sydney and aimed to present a unified proposal to various state governments for the creation of a Wattle Day. The league settled on September 1 as Wattle Day — as it is the beginning of the spring season in Australia — and they founded multiple branches across the country. Since that year, celebrations have been held each year in major Australian cities. The dates of this celebration were different — cities chose dates between July and September. The celebration kept growing, however.

Support for Wattle Day continued even during the First World War when wattle sprigs were sold to raise money for organizations like the Red Cross. As a tradition, pressed wattles were sent in letters to wounded soldiers. In 1982, environmentalist Maria Hitchcock — famously known as ‘The Wattle Lady’ — started a campaign to revive Wattle Day and have it gazetted. She also planned to formally get recognition of the Acacia pycnantha as Australia’s National Floral Emblem. She took the help of ABC’s Ian McNamara to solicit letters of support from hundreds of Australians. After the official ceremony to gazette the Floral Emblem, Ms. Hitchcock was told she would have to personally get letters of approval from all the Premiers and Chief Ministers in Australia. Soliciting Ian McNamara’s help again, she received approval letters within three years for the gazettal of Wattle Day.

From 1992, September 1 has been declared as National Wattle Day for Australia and the external Territories of Australia.

Wattle Day timeline

First Suggestion

Ornithologist and field naturalist Archibald James Campbell makes a speech where he asks for the creation of a special Wattle Day.

The Wattle Campaign Begins

Environmentalist Maria Hitchcock starts a campaign to get official recognition for wattles — both as Australia's National Floral Emblem and as a special holiday.

September 1, 1988
The Wattle Becomes the National Flower

Australia's governor-general designates the golden wattle as the country's national flower.

June 23, 1992
Our Day is Here!

September 1 is officially proclaimed as Wattle Day by Bill Hayden, the governor-general of the Commonwealth of Australia, and it is celebrated all across Australia.

Research on Wattle Day Significance

Historian Lilly Robin publishes a paper titled ‘Nationalising Nature: Wattle Days in Australia,’ that examines the history and significance of Wattle Day to Australia's socio-economic landscape.

Wattle Day FAQs

What date is Wattle Day in NSW?

In 1916, New South Wales changed the date of their Wattle Day celebrations to August 1. They used the earlier flowering (and more familiar) Cootamundra wattle rather than the golden wattle. Now, Wattle Day is officially celebrated across Australia on September 1.

What does the wattle symbolize?

The resilient wattle species is said to represent the resilience of the Australian people. The golden wattle also symbolizes remembrance and reflection.

What is wattle used for?

Wattle plants have a wide variety of uses and have been a source of wood, food, fodder for animals, medicines, perfumes, and even oils.

How To Celebrate Wattle Day

  1. Light up your house in wattle colors

    Do as the Australians do and light up your house in wattle colors — green and yellow. Light a few yellow lamps, string up yellow-colored fairy lights, and add a plant or two for that green pop.

  2. Research conservation opportunities

    Wattle Day used to be about patriotism, but it has evolved to address conservation too. Take a minute to learn what you can do for the environment and plants around you, and start making small changes for a better planet. Encourage others to take up the conservation cause too.

  3. Enjoy nature

    Wattle Day celebrations are often low-key and involve appreciating nature. Take a quick walk in the park, have lunch outdoors while basking in the sun, go on a trek, or plant a tree in the backyard.

5 Fun Facts About The Wattle

  1. The name is an early colonial term

    Acacias are called wattles in Australia because they believed the stem of this plant was used to make wattles (a.k.a. interlaced rods) in early huts.

  2. It’s incorrect on the Coat of Arms

    The sprig of the wattle on the official symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia is botanically incorrect, the spherical flowers and green leaves are not an accurate picture of the plant.

  3. This plant is resilient

    It can withstand droughts, winds, and bushfires too.

  4. The wattle is also a weed

    In South Africa, Tanzania, Italy, Portugal, Sardinia, India, Indonesia, and New Zealand, this plant is considered a weed.

  5. Mentioned in the cricket team's victory song

    The lyrics of the official victory song for the Australian cricket team are, “Under the Southern Cross I stand, a sprig of wattle in my hand, a native of my native land, Australia you beauty!”

We're celebrating spring

  1. We're celebrating spring

    Beauty, new life, bounty, optimism, color — spring embodies all these things and more to people around the globe. Wattle Day encourages us to look forward to this season and celebrate it with a lot of enthusiasm.

  2. There is a strong environmental connection

    Wattle Day honors a species of flora so, naturally, this means by celebrating this day, we nurture a love for nature. Plus, we are growing our environmental knowledge and are (hopefully) becoming budding conservationists.

  3. We enjoy simple and sentimental celebrations

    The USP of this day includes low-key and simple celebrations in many Australian households. We love to wine and dine ourselves, but a small event is just as fun and, sometimes, it is even more intimate and personal.

Wattle Day dates

2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
2028September 1Friday
Legacy Week
National Crime Prevention Week
National Waffle Week
Acne Positivity Day
American Chess Day
Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day
Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day
Cherry Popover Day
Chicken Boy Day
Chicken Boy Day
Emma M Nutt Day
Ginger Cat Appreciation Day
National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day
National Little Black Dress Day
National Monterey County Fair Day
National No Rhyme Nor Reason Day
National Pet Rock Day
National Pet Rock Day
National Tofu Day
Pink Cadillac Day
Slovakia Constitution Day
Uzbekistan Independence Day
Wattle Day
Wattle Day
World Letter Writing Day
Animal Pain Awareness Month
Attendance Awareness Month
Baby Safety Month
Bear Necessities Month
Better Breakfast Month
Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Bourbon Heritage Month
Bourbon Heritage Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Civil Service Month
Classical Music Month
Classical Music Month
Disaster Preparedness Month
Festival of Learning Have a Go Month
Footy Colors Day
Footy Colors Day
Global Company Culture Month
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
Happy Cat Month
Healthy Aging Month
Intergeneration Month
Irish Heart Month
ITP Awareness Month
Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month
National Chicken Month
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
National Cholesterol Education Month
National Condiment Month
National Food Safety Education Month
National Guide Dog Month
National Honey Month
National Organic Month
National Papaya Month
National Peace Consciousness Month
National Pediculosis Prevention Month/Head Lice Prevention Month
National Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month
National Pet Insurance Month
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month
National Recovery Month
National Save a Tiger Month
National Service Dog Month
National Sewing Month
Newborn Screening Awareness Month
Oddfellows Friendship Month
Organic September
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Pain Awareness Month
PCOS Awareness Month
Pet Sitter Education Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Responsible Dog Ownership Month
Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month
Rule of Law Month
Save Your Photos Month
Self Improvement Month
Sexual Health Awareness Month
National Sickle Cell Awareness Month
Sickle Cell Awareness Month
Sourdough September
Sports Eye Safety Month
Suicide Prevention Month
Urology Awareness Month
Vascular Disease Awareness Month
Velociraptor Awareness Month
World Alzheimer's Month
World Animal Remembrance Month
World Candle Month
World Fun Fair Month
Yoga Awareness Month

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.