Information from http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/anzac-day
On 25 April every year, Australians commemorate ANZAC Day. It commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The date, 25 April, was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. In 1917, the word ANZAC meant someone who fought at Gallipoli and later it came to mean any Australian or New Zealander who fought or served in the First World War. During the Second World War, ANZAC Daybecame a day on which the lives of all Australians lost in war time were remembered. The spirit of ANZAC recognises the qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice which were demonstrated at the Gallipoli landing.
Commemorative services are held at dawn on 25 April, the time of the original landing, across the nation, usually at war memorials. This was initiated by returned soldiers after the First World War in the 1920s as a common form of remembrance. The first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927, which was also the first year that all states recognised a public holiday on the day. Initially dawn services were only attended by veterans who followed the ritual of ‘standing to’ before two minutes of silence was observed, broken by the sound of a lone piper playing the ‘Last Post‘. Later in the day, there were marches in all the major cities and many smaller towns for families and other well wishers.
Today it is a day when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war. Gatherings are held at war memorials across the country.