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Christmas Day in New Zealand

Christmas Day is a day off for many New Zealanders on December 25 every year. It is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Opening presents is one of the highlights of Christmas Day.
Opening presents is one of the highlights of Christmas Day.
©iStockphoto.com/Sean Locke

What do people do?

Christmas Day is a time for families and friends to share presents, spend time together and wish each other a Merry Christmas. Some people go to a special Christmas Day church service. Many children receive presents from Santa Claus and people exchange Christmas cards. Christmas meals may include a Christmas ham, roast vegetables, homemade gravy and roast turkey. It is summer in New Zealand in December so pools or beaches can be popular places to visit on Christmas Day.

Public life

Christmas Day is a statutory public holiday in New Zealand, so schools, government offices, and many private businesses are closed. New Year’s Day is also in the middle of the school summer holidays in New Zealand.


Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little public information about his early life. There is disagreement among scholars on when Jesus was actually born. Many Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25. Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7.

When European settlers arrived in New Zealand, they brought with them various traditions, including the tradition of celebrating Christmas. It is now a public holiday in New Zealand.

About Christmas Day in other countries

Read more about Christmas Day.

Christmas Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
TueDec 251990Christmas DayNational holiday
WedDec 251991Christmas DayNational holiday
FriDec 251992Christmas DayNational holiday
SatDec 251993Christmas DayNational holiday
SunDec 251994Christmas DayNational holiday
MonDec 251995Christmas DayNational holiday
WedDec 251996Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuDec 251997Christmas DayNational holiday
FriDec 251998Christmas DayNational holiday
SatDec 251999Christmas DayNational holiday
MonDec 252000Christmas DayNational holiday
TueDec 252001Christmas DayNational holiday
WedDec 252002Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuDec 252003Christmas DayNational holiday
SatDec 252004Christmas DayNational holiday
SunDec 252005Christmas DayNational holiday
MonDec 252006Christmas DayNational holiday
TueDec 252007Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuDec 252008Christmas DayNational holiday
FriDec 252009Christmas DayNational holiday
SatDec 252010Christmas DayNational holiday
SunDec 252011Christmas DayNational holiday
TueDec 252012Christmas DayNational holiday
WedDec 252013Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuDec 252014Christmas DayNational holiday
FriDec 252015Christmas DayNational holiday
SunDec 252016Christmas DayNational holiday
MonDec 252017Christmas DayNational holiday
TueDec 252018Christmas DayNational holiday
WedDec 252019Christmas DayNational holiday
FriDec 252020Christmas DayNational holiday

Quick Facts

Christmas Day is a public holiday in New Zealand on December 25 each year.

Christmas Day 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Name in other languages

Christmas DayEnglish
List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in December 2015 in New Zealand

Other calendars

Related links