ANZAC Day, observed on April 25th, is a significant day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, Turkey, during World War I.
On this day, people wear poppies as a symbol of respect and remembrance for the fallen soldiers. Why poppies? Let's take a look at the significance of this symbolistic flower.
The tradition of wearing poppies to honour fallen soldiers began in the early 20th century, during World War I. The poppy was chosen as a symbol because of its association with the battlefields of Flanders, where poppies grew in abundance.
In 1915, Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem "In Flanders Fields", which describes the poppies growing among the graves of fallen soldiers.
‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.’
- By John McCrae
The poem became popular in Canada and the United Kingdom, and made poppies a symbol of remembrance for soldiers who had died in battle.
In 1921, the poppy was adopted as the official symbol of remembrance by the newly formed Royal British Legion.
The tradition of wearing poppies on ANZAC Day began in the years following World War I. Poppies were sold to raise funds for returned soldiers and their families, and wearing a poppy was seen as a way to show support for the veterans.
The first ANZAC Day commemorations were held in 1916, and poppies were already being sold to raise funds for returned soldiers. The tradition of wearing poppies on ANZAC Day grew in popularity over the years, and it is now a common sight to see people wearing poppies on this day of remembrance.
After Receiving many requests for pieces that celebrate ANZAC Day, we created the Poppies Collection to remember and honour bravery and courage and to champion a world of peace, love and freedom.
A portion of sales from this collection is donated to Legacy Australia.
Poppies are used in several ways on ANZAC Day. The most common way is by wearing a poppy on the lapel of the shirt collar. It has also become acceptable to wear poppy themed jewellery and accessories as poppies are not always readily available in some parts of the country.
In addition to wearing poppies, poppy wreaths are also laid at memorials and cenotaphs as a sign of respect for the fallen soldiers. The wreaths are usually made of artificial poppies and are laid by veterans, family members, and members of the community.
Another important tradition on ANZAC Day is the playing of the Last Post and the observance of one minute's silence. The Last Post is a bugle call that is played at military funerals and is now used to signify the end of the day's activities. The playing of the Last Post is followed by one minute's silence, during which people reflect on the sacrifices made by the soldiers.
The tradition of wearing poppies on ANZAC Day is an important way to honour the sacrifices made by the soldiers who fought and died for their country.
We think wearing poppies on ANZAC Day is a beautiful way to remember those who gave their lives for all Australians and New Zealanders.