What is Waitangi Day Celebration and in which part of the world it is celebrated?

Waitangi Day

Hundreds of years ago, people called Maori sailed their long canoes to what is now New Zealand. The Maori came from islands in the Pacific.

In the 1700’s, Europeans came to New Zealand. They brought guns, which increased warfare among the Maori. They also brought diseases that killed thousands of Maori.

The British settlers and the Maori finally got together at a place named Waitangi to resolve their problems. On February 6, 1840, they signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This agreement made New Zealand a British colony. New Zealand now is an independent nation. It celebrates February 6 as Waitangi Day, its birthday and most important national holiday.

Every year on 6 February – Waitangi Day – people of all communities and backgrounds gather at Waitangi to commemorate the first signing of New Zealand’s founding document: Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi, on 6 February 1840. Waitangi Day is recognised as New Zealand’s national day and is the most important marker in the country’s history.

Ongoing recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation’s founding document will continue to keep this celebration alive, as the Treaty continues to live as part of New Zealand’s past, present and future.

On the 6 February the Treaty Grounds closes its buildings for the day and the grounds become the location for the Waitangi Day Festival.

The free festival at the Treaty Grounds starts at 5am with a Dawn Service in Te Whare R?nanga (Carved Meeting House). All-day entertainment creates a fun, festival atmosphere, with performance stages on the Upper Treaty Grounds, at the Waka Shelter and on the sports field opposite the Treaty Grounds.

More than 150 market stalls offer an amazing array of art and crafts, clothing and a wide variety of food options. Children’s activities include bouncy castles, kids racing cars and sports games.

Picture Credit : Google