Saturday, September 18, 2021

Festivals & Holidays in New Zealand

Australia and OceaniaNew ZealandFestivals & Holidays in New Zealand

Public holidays in New Zealand are as follows:

  • 1 January: New Year’s Day
  • 2 January: New Year
  • 6 February: Waitangi Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
  • Easter weekend: a four-day weekend in March or April (set according to Western Christian dates) that includes Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Middle Saturday (which is not a public holiday). Most shops must remain closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
  • 25 April: ANZAC Day, the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Corps at Gallipoli in 1915. Most businesses are closed until 1pm.
  • First Monday in June: The Queen’s Birthday
  • Fourth Monday in October: Labour Day
  • 25 December: Christmas Day. Most shops have to remain closed.
  • 26 December: Boxing Day.

Each region of the country has its own birthday holiday. Birthdays are based on pre-1876 provincial boundaries, which are not the same as today’s regional boundaries. The most widely observed are Auckland’s birthday, celebrated on the Monday closest to 29 January by the North Island north of (and including) Taupo, and Wellington’s birthday, celebrated on the Monday closest to 22 January by Greater Wellington and most of the Manawatu-Wanganui region. While Auckland’s birthday is celebrated directly by a larger number of people (2.5 million), Wellington’s birthday is celebrated indirectly by a larger number of people as all ministries and embassies are located in Wellington. The dates of each region’s birthday should be indicated on their page.

The Ministry of Education sets the school year for all government and government-integrated schools (96.5 per cent of all schools). Secondary school students (13-18 years) usually take summer holidays after exams in early December, while primary school students (5-12 years) go on holiday in mid-December. Students return to school in late January or early February. There are three quarterly breaks of two weeks each: one in April (which usually starts on Good Friday), one in July and one in September/October. Postgraduate students usually start in late February or early March and finish in early November, with a three- to four-week winter break in June/July and two one-week semester breaks at Easter and late August.