Wattle Day has been celebrated on the first day of September each year since 1992, the official start of the Australian Spring. Prior to this, each State acknowledged the day at separate times depending on when the Acacias were in full bloom in that territory.
During my childhood growing up on a quarter acre block surrounded by suburban bushland Wattle Day was celebrated on the 1st of August, sharing the day with Horses’ Birthday. This meant wearing a sprig of Cootamundra Wattle, which flourished in Sydney, to Primary school on that day which seemed such a special event all those years ago.
I read something from our First Nations people (Dance of the Plants) about Wattle this morning which made my heart sing:
“GARRON( Wattle) season is upon us. But if you believe in a little magic then you must listen to my Elders and my late Auntie Lennah♥️ a senior Bunurong Elder, she told us that we were never to bring GARRON into the house. It was to be hung on the door, outside the house, where it would keep the bad spirits away. If you bought it inside then you would get bad luck. The GARRON is a very important plant to Bunurong people, not only for food and medicine but also for bush dye, wood and a thousand other things.Enjoy the sunshine it brings right now as GARRON tells us the season is turning, soon it will be PAREIP(Spring).”
I have always loved Wattle. I have always lived with Wattle. Here’s one I planted as a sapling in the koala corridor that my house backs on to (to replace the palm trees that some idiot planted and which are not native to the area).
Some Wattle Trivia:
( courtesy of https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/australia/articles/golden-wattle-11-facts-about-australias-national-flower/).
-Australia was only federated as a nation in 1901, so its World War I efforts were integral to the formation of a national identity, and the golden wattle played a significant symbolic role. Wattle flowers were sold to raise money during the war, it became tradition to send pressed wattles in letters to wounded soldiers in Europe, and fallen diggers were often buried with a sprig of wattle.
-The flag might be red, white and blue but Australian sporting teams have been wearing green and gold on their uniforms since the late 1800s. The hues were officially recognised as Australia’s national colours in 1984 and these days you won’t spot a national sporting team decked out in anything other than green and gold. It even earns a mention in the cricket team’s victory song: “Under the Southern Cross I stand, a sprig of wattle in my hand, a native of my native land, Australia you f***ing beauty!”
-The designs of the Order of Australia medal (the highest honour an Australian civilian can receive), the National Emergency Medal and countless Australian Defence Force honours are based on the golden wattle. The national flower is also a common motif in works by iconic Australian artists Albert Namatjira, Sidney Nolan and John Olsen, as well as pieces like Banjo Paterson’s 1915 poem We’re All Australians Now, and John Williamson’s song Cootamundra Wattle.
– A sprig of wattle has appeared on the official symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia since 1912 … but it’s botanically incorrect. Wattle frames the kangaroo, emu and shield representing the country’s six states, but technically the spherical flowers and green leaves don’t provide an accurate depiction of the acacia. Ssssssh. Keep that one to yourself.
-Koalas can supplement their diets with Wattle if they are short on Eucalypts ( or aren’t too lazy).