ANZAC Day in New Zealand’s official day of remembrance. It has been a recognised holiday since 1916. It commemorates the failed landing in to Gallipoli, in modern Turkey, by the ANZAC’s (Australia New Zealand Army Corp) that caused the death of 2,700 New Zealanders that commenced on 25 April 2010.
The holiday play’s an important part in the creation of a New Zealand national identity. It marks the initial movement away from traditional colonial thinking by European settlers, to a solidified, shared regional bond between New Zealanders and our Australian neighbours.
Today, ANZAC Day recognises all New Zealand military efforts past and present. People wear a red poppy as sign of respect. The most significant trademark of ANZAC Day, is the traditional dawn service. People gather at recognised monuments for the fallen. Veterans are ordered to stand to a couple of minutes prior to dawn and a two minute silence is observed as a bugler plays "The Last Post."
Below are a list of major city services held on the day. However, most towns will hold a similar service somewhere near the town centre. Please be mindful that there is no trading prior to 1pm on the day as a mark of respect.
Where: Cenotaph Court of Honour, Auckland War Museum, Auckland Domain
Where: Wellington Cenotaph, Corner Lambton Quay and Bowen Street
Where: Christchurch Cenotaph, Cathedral Square
Arrive: 6am (outside the Heritage Hotel, Worcester Street)
For more information about ANZAC Day, we strongly recommend going to the official New Zealand Returned Services Association website.