|The ladies celebrating after the 2011 Melbourne Cup race. Hahndorf Inn; Hahndorf, South Australia.|
These photos were taken from Hahndorf, South Australia. I was there this afternoon to loosen up a bit and was, honestly, surprised to see the multitude in all the pubs/gaming rooms and restaurants along the town's main street.
There was a celebration- tables teeming with fine foods, glasses overflowing with a wide range of drinks, balloons everywhere, and flags blowing up in the air! The crowd was jubilant; and unlike Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and the Philippines who earnestly celebrates the All Saints Day (and the following day- the All Souls Day), Australia holds the 2011 Melbourne Cup today.
Melbourne Cup is the major and the most famous horse race in Australia; it is actually known as 'the race that stops the nation' and is traditionally conducted during the first Tuesday of November.
In Melbourne and in most parts of the state of Victoria, Melbourne Cup is a public holiday. Here in South Australia and in the other states, it's supposedly business as usual but I'm sure most of the Australians had turned their telly on this arvo to watch the race and bet for their favourite horse. Hahndorf is (an old German town) located approximately 701 kilometres away from the venue of the race (Flemington, Victoria), but look at how important Melbourne Cup is to Australians.
Okay, Melbourne Cup is a horse race, but why do women wear colourful hats and hairdresses during this day? They simply call it Fashion on the Field- there's a prize awarded to the best-dressed man or woman in the race. It all started in 1962 and it has become a tradition- that in every local horse race, in Flemington or not, it is equally important to wear an elegant hat.
|The same women as in the photo above.|
The French-based horse Dunaden- ridden by Cristophe Lemaire won the 2011 Melbourne Cup. The horse's owner earned $3.6 million plus a trophy worth $175,000.