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