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ANZAC Day in New Zealand

Many New Zealanders observe Anzac Day on April 25. It commemorates the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli, Turkey, during World War I in 1915. This event, also observed in Australia, remembers all New Zealanders who served their country in wars and conflicts.

Is ANZAC Day a Public Holiday?

ANZAC Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Anzac Cove memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey.

©iStockphoto.com/Hanis

What Do People Do?

Many New Zealanders attend parades, dawn ceremonies or commemorative ceremonies on Anzac Day. The Anzac Day parades involve returned service personnel wearing their medals while marching behind banners. Defence force members, cadets and youth organizations also join in the parade.

It’s also common to lay wreaths to remember New Zealanders who fought and died in past wars and conflicts. Some people travel to be part of a commemorative service at Gallipoli, in Turkey, on Anzac Day.

Public Life

Anzac Day is a public holiday in New Zealand. Schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed.

Background

Anzac Day, on April 25, is the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during World War I in 1915. The Australian and New Zealander soldiers were part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula. Close to 3000 New Zealand soldiers died during the eight-month Gallipoli campaign.

Anzac Day has been a public holiday in New Zealand since 1921. However, it was observed as early as 1916. A civic delegation in Wellington persuaded the government to gazette April 25 as a general half-day holiday. By 1920 it was apparent that most New Zealanders wanted Anzac Day observed as a sacred day and later that year the government introduced a bill to make Anzac Day a national holiday.

ANZAC Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SatApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2015MonApr 27ANZAC Day observedNational holiday
2016MonApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2017TueApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2018WedApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2019ThuApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2020SatApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2020MonApr 27ANZAC Day observedNational holiday
2021SunApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2021MonApr 26ANZAC Day observedNational holiday
2022MonApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2023TueApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2024ThuApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday
2025FriApr 25ANZAC DayNational holiday

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