Come late December and thousands of Kiwis get ready for their annual
holiday. They look forward to lazy days at the beach or the bach (or
crib), games of backyard cricket, food on the barbie and the holiday
uniform of shorts, jandals and T-shirts.
Christmas in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand and backyard barbecues. Over the holiday season we explore the Kiwi Christmas experience –
from Abel Tasman’s first New Zealand Christmas in 1642 to the declining
reign of the Queen’s message
Celebrated on the fourth Monday in October, Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day, a right that carpenter Samuel Parnell had famously fought for in 1840. Our first Labour Day was held on 28 October 1890, and it has been a statutory public holiday since 1900.
The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. In many countries it is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day, 25 April.
First observed in 1916, Anzac Day - 25 April - commemorates those killed in war as well as honouring returned servicemen and women. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials across the country, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, are rich in tradition and ritual.
The Anzac Day ceremony of 25 April is a form of military funeral and follows a particular pattern. The day's ceremonies have two major parts: one at dawn and another, more public event, later in the morning.