February Festivities: Waitangi Day, Wellington’s Chinese New Year Festival, & Valentine’s Day

We’ve had a lot on already this month (history, culture and remembrance on Waitangi Day), and a lot still to come – with cultural fun and food at Wellington’s Chinese New Year Festival this weekend and romance in the air ahead of Valentine’s Day next week!

We’ve collected some facts about this month’s celebrations for you from our collection – have a read!

Waitangi Day – Monday 6th February 2012

Treaty of WaitangiWaitangi Day was observed this year on Monday 6th February. Public holidays are always enjoyable, but it’s important to remember that Waitangi Day is much more than a day off:

  • On the 6th of February 1840, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, what is considered to be New Zealand’s founding document.
  • Since then this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Most Maori chiefs signed the Maori language version of the Treaty – and there are some important differences between the English and Maori versions of the Treaty
  • February 6th was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974
  • Prior to 1934, most celebrations of New Zealand’s founding as a colony were marked on 29 January, the date on which William Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands
  • This day was also known briefly as New Zealand Day

Read more about the Treaty:

Wellington’s Chinese New Year Festival – 11th & 12th February 2012

Chinese New Year LanternChinese New Year fell on January 23rd this year, and to celebrate Wellington will be having a Chinese New Year Festival on the 11th and 12th of February. The se celebrations are brought to you by the Asian Events Trust in partnership with Wellington City Council, and information about events happening over the weekend can be found at: chinesenewyear.co.nz

Some facts for you:

  • Chinese New Year is traditionally a Spring festival, and one of the most important festivities in the lunar calendar
  • Celebrations take place over 15 days
  • 2012 is the Year of the Dragon
  • The most common Chinese phrases for saying “Happy New Year” are “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (Mandarin) and “Gong He Faat Choy” (Cantonese)

Chinese New Year Dragon

Read more about Chinese New Year:

Valentine’s Day – Tuesday 14th February

CupidYes, we’re just about at that time of year when florists and candy stores try to persuade us to purchase gifts for loved ones. But is it all just a commercial gimmick? Every wondered what this lovey dovey day is actually all about? Well look no further, we have some answers. Valentine’s Day…

Read more about Valentine’s Day: