ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Melbourne Cup Day - the Race that Stops a Nation

Updated on April 17, 2014

The first Tuesday in November is Melbourne Cup Day

If you live in Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria you will get a public holiday on the first Tuesday in November. Many countries have public holidays to recognise the anniversary of important national dates like Independence or labour days or the birthdate of their sovereign. So what is the importance of the first Tuesday in November? It is a holiday to celebrate a horse race called the Melbourne Cup. It is also known as the race that stops a nation and is a major event on the Australian social calendar.

Photo credit: IdaBet.com on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/horse-wagering/760491...

The 1976 bMelbourne Cup
The 1976 bMelbourne Cup

The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861

The Melbourne Cup dates back to 1861. Since Australia went metric in 1973 is has been ran over 3,200 metres (two miles) at Flemington racecourse. It is the world's richest two-mile handicap with over $6 million Australian dollars in prizemoney plus trophies. The final field of 24 horses can be drawn from runners who have qualified all around the world. One mare, Makybe Diva, won for three consecutive years in 2003, 2004 and 2005 in a feat that will probably never be repeated. Veteran Australian trainer Bart Cummings has trained 12 Melbourne Cup winners so far in a long and illustrious career. Winners have come from all around the world including Ireland, Japan and France.

The Melbourne Cup is more than just a horse race though. It is a cultural event deeply embedded in the Australian psyche. Even people who know nothing about horses and who normally never bet or gamble will have a little flutter on the Melbourne Cup, whether through the tote or a workplace sweepstakes. At the appointed hour (usually 3pm) on that first Tuesday in November almost everything comes to a standstill for the approximately 2 minutes it takes the for the race to be run. Television sets all around the country tune in to watch, and race meetings are held all across the country in cities, towns and bush tracks so people can go there to bet on the big race with the bookmakers.

Ballads, poems and songs have been written about the Melbourne Cup and the day creates a party atmosphere across the country. It is one of Australia's oddest public holidays, and one of its most celebrated. Most Australians have "attend a Melbourne Cup at Flemington" on their bucket list. It's as close as we get to a pilgrimage.

Ladies Racewear Fascinators

Melbourne Cup is a dress-up day with fantastic prizes on offer in Fashions on the Field contests for the best-dressed woman, man and couple. There are also people in outrageous outfits who are just there to have fun and party. Many women complete there raceday outfit with a fascinator or hat.

Should Melbourne Cup Day be a Public Holiday?

Should Melbourne get a public holiday for a horse race?

See results

Melbourne Cup poll

Have you ever watched the Melbourne Cup?

See results

Looking for more horse racing items? - Check these out or browse using the search box!

Any thoughts on the Melbourne Cup?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I grew up in Melbourne and loved having a long weekend at the start of November each year. These days, I don't even watch the race even though I have strong family ties with it. My great, great, great grandfather rode the winner of the 1901 race. Some other ancestors later on were also successful jockeys who rode in the race and have ended up on Australian stamps and everything!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      You have done a great lens and one I contemplated doing as well. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on How Much Do You Know About Australia. Hugs

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 5 years ago

      Haven't back the winner for years! But being back in Melbourne this year for the first time in a decade and it's now bigger than ever. It should be an Aussie wide holiday. Let everyone join in the madness.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      My daughter used to live in Louisville, Kentucky and the Kentucky Derby has the same effect on the city of Louisville as the Melbourne Cup has on the country of Australia. Everything revolves around the big race. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)