Thursday, November 30, 2006

In my country the days we celebrate are: New Zealand

New Zealand celebrates a variety of public holidays such as Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December), New Year's Day and the day after (1 and 2 January). We also celebrate public holidays that are unique to New Zealand. Such as Waitangi Day (6 February), Good Friday and Easter Monday (dates variable), ANZAC Day (25 April), Queen's Birthday (first Monday in June), Labour Day (fourth Monday in October). As well as Anniversary day.

Waitangi Day, 6 February, marks the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. This Treaty, often described as New Zealand's founding document, was an agreement between Maori chiefs and the British Crown, and covered issues of sovereignty, possession and rights of citizenship. Differences between the English and Maori texts of the Treaty, and breaches of its terms in the years following its signing, have complicated New Zealanders' sense of the ongoing importance of this agreement. Through out New Zelaand there are many events held on this day from a formal ocassion at Waitangi to concerts in other mains city centres.

Anzac Day, 25 April, is special for both New Zealand and Australia as it marks the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' first landing on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915, during the First World War. Although we lost the Gallipoli campaign, this was an important period in New Zealand's history. Anzac day is now the focus for a broader acknowledgement of the costs of war: the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare is remembered, as is the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. Dawn services and parades are held throughout cities and provinces within New Zealand. Shops and businesses are closed until mid day as a sign of respect for those who served our country.

Queen's Birthday is always celebrated on the first Monday in June. New Zealand celebrates this occasion in June because it is too close to Easter and Anzac day in April.

Then there is a four month gap between Queens birthday in June and Labour day in October. People in New Zealand find this hard going the months of June to August is our winter.

Labour Day is the last public holiday before Christmas. Labour Day is always celebrated on the fourth Monday in October. We have this holiday thanks to a chap called Samuel Parnell who fought for the right to an eight hour day for New Zealand workers in 1840. During this public holiday you find that people tend to travel through out New Zealand to camping grounds and holiday homes.

We also celebrate another public holiday called Anniversary Day, but this day is celebrated on a different day for each region in NZ. For example, if you live in Auckland province, Anniversary Day was celebrated on Monday 30 January 2006 and if you live in Westland province, Anniversary Day will be celebrated on Monday 4 December 2006. Anniversary Day celebrates the founding or beginning of the province where you live. These provincial days were determined locally by the provinces.

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