Celebrating Australia's Northern Territory By Blowing It Up

Yesterday was Territory Day, a time when Northern Territorians celebrate self-governance with one day of legal fireworks.

by Rhett Hammerton
Jul 2 2015, 12:35am

Yesterday in Australia was Territory Day, a time when citizens of the Northern Territory celebrate achieving self-governance in 1978 by legalizing fireworks for 24 hours. That means for one day out of the whole year Northern Territorians can buy, sell, and set off fireworks pretty much wherever they want. It sounds strange, and dangerous, but the practice totally embodies the spirit of the Northern Territory. For 24 hours they mark their ability to manage a range of governmental matters with a locally-elected parliament by casting off everything OH&S, as well as the fact that you usually need a license to detonate small explosives in public.

Kids get up early to visit the firework shops that are only open for 12 hours to pick up that special something that will freak out their dogs. Friends come together, drink beers, and set off cherry bombs for the first time outside of their teens. And the rest of the country looks on and thinks, "Why the fuck don't we all live in the Northern Territory?"

Photos by Rhett Hammerton