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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.

Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday?

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

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.

Background

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SatDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2011SunDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2012TueDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2013WedDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2014ThuDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2015FriDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2016SunDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2017MonDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2018TueDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2019WedDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 
2020FriDec 25Christmas DayNational holiday 

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