Here’s a useful summary of festivals, events and public holidays in New Zealand as well as the  2014 and 2015 dates for each and what each holiday celebrates.Some festivals have very strong traditions, while others have evolved more recently. Why not use some of these festivals to share another culture with your children, and start a family tradition of your own?

This section is still in the growing stages, so if you are aware of an upcoming festival or cultural event that you think should be covered, then drop us a line and we will add it to this section. Happy Celebrating!

New Year’s Day

1 January

Public holiday -Wednesday 1 January 2014 and Thursday 1 January 2015

Day after New Year’s Day

2 January

Public holiday – Thursday 2 January 2014 and Friday 2 January 2015

Chinese New Year

31 January 2014

19 February 2015

Exploding firecrackers and dancing dragons – great fun!  2014 is the year of the Horse and 2015 is the year of the Sheep.

Waitangi Day

6 February

Celebrating and remembering the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand. Thursday 6 February 2014 and Friday 6 February 2015

Shrove Tuesday

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Aligned to be 47 days before Easter. Pancakes and fun mark the beginning of Lent (you could give something up and donate to your favourite charity!)

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday March 5 2014

Wednesday February 18 2015

The first day of Lent. Ash Wednesday occurs 46 days before Easter.

Valentine’s Day

14 February

A day to make friends, family and lovers feel special.Friday 14 February 2014 and Saturday 14 February 2015

Children’s Day

Sunday 2 March 2014

A wonderful day to experience lots of fun free events with your family

St Patrick’s Day

17 March

Wear something green, dance a jig and search for a 4 leafed clover – the kids will love it! Monday 17 March 2014 Check out our St Patrick’s Day Pinterest board for great ideas.


Passover is a festival celebrated by both Jewish and Christian families.  Read Diane Levy’s article here. A week long festival, starting Monday 14 April 2014 and Friday 3 April 2015.


Friday 18 April & Monday 21 April 2014

Friday 3 April & Monday 5 April 2015

Read all about the story of Easter here, as well as discovering fun craft ideas for you & the kids.

Anzac Day

25 April

A time for us to remember and honour all of those who have lost their life at war. Public holiday -Tuesday 25 April 2014 and Wednesday 25 April 2015

Mother’s Day

Second Sunday in May

A day to celebrate and recognise Mothers.Sunday 11 May 2014 and Sunday 10 May 2015

International Day of Families

May 15 every year

A special celebration of Families around the world!

Youth Week

17 – 25 May 2014

Recognising the part that young people play in our communities.

Queen’s Birthday

1st Monday in June

Public holiday –
Monday 2 June 2014 Monday 1 June 2015


new moon in June

A time to celebrate new beginnings and recognise the Maori New Year. Events happening around New Zealand are published here . Saturday 28 June 2014 and Thursday 18 June 2015

Mid Winter Christmas

Christmas really can come more than once a year. Instead of hibernating this winter – let’s celebrate!

Maori Language Week


Celebrating the Maori Language in New Zealand. 21-27 July 2014

Father’s Day

1st Sunday in September

A day to celebrate and recognise Dads. Sunday 7 September 2014 and Sunday 6 September 2015

Labour Day

4th Monday in October

Public holiday – Monday 27 October 2014 and Monday 26 October 2015


31 October

Scary costumes, trick or treating, lots of lollies and treats! Friday 31 October 2014 and Saturday 31 October 2015

Guy Fawkes

5 November

Fireworks, bonfires and great excitement for the kids – just make sure everyone stays safe! Wednesday 5 November 2014 and Thursday 5 November 2015

Christmas Day

25 December

The biggest and most anticipated family day of the year, especially for young children. Public holiday – Thursday 25 December 2014 and Friday 25 December 2015

Boxing Day

26 December

Another big family day. Public holiday – Friday 26 December 2014 and Saturday 26 December 2015

The above Family Festivals & Public Holidays information is intended for NZ Parents and is regularly updated by the Kiwi Families team.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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