Events  Waitangi day and Waitangi village
06/02/201606:00 TV5MONDE
 
Kia Ora! 
 
 
“Kia Ora” means Hi and is the local way of greeting people in New Zealand as well as wishing them good health. (For more vocabulary, click here)
 
 
 
 
Waitangi Day is celebrated on February 6th every year and commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori chefs and the British representatives that took place in 1840.
 
 

 
Waitangi, a city

 
Waitangi is a small city with only 800 inhabitants. It becomes very busy during Waitangi celebrations. It is located in the Northland region, probably the warmest region of the territory. The region is touristic and is particularly famous for its beautiful beaches, its islands and its Kauri forests. Kauri trees are legendary trees that could easily reach 50-metre-high, 10-metre-width and live more than 2,000 years!
Waitangi is also the first city that was discovered by the Europeans. 
 
 


 
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds
 
 
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds features the historic Treaty House and is opened to the public for visits. It is the place of reference for the origin of the Treaty that was ratified in year 1840. 
In the entrance stands a gallery introducing all the signatories.

 
 
Facing the Treaty House is the Marae of Whare Runanga (Marae is a sacred place for religious and social gatherings or activities in most of Polynesian societies), which refers to the House of Assembly, composed of carved figures of ancestors.

 


 
Each tribe has its own style of carving. 
The Waka House near Te Ana O treaty (on Hobson’s Beach) is a sacred place that holds a roof under which lies the world’s biggest wooden war-canoe: the Matawharorua. 

 


 
Every year on Waitangi Day, more than 120 men move together this 35-metre-long canoe into the sea.  It weighs 6 tones when dry and not more than the double when saturated… (Keep your feet out of the way!) 
You can click here for more information
 
 

 
 
Waitangi today

 
February is summertime in New Zealand, making it a great opportunity to head to the beach with family and celebrate. People usually gather together for a nice picnic. Every locality has its own way to celebrate. Stalls are installed in public places where people can buy arts and crafts, food, and clothing…
This event brings New Zealanders altogether, regardless of their background, community and creeds, and this is important. 

 


 
According to New Zealand History website, people have different views on Waitangi celebration: for some it is a holiday, and for others, it is an occasion for reflecting on the Treaty of Waitangi.
Waitangi day has now been "Mondayised". If it happens on a weekend it will then be celebrated on that day, plus people get the following Monday off work (click here for more info about NZ public holiday)
 
 
We want to wish our friends from New Zealand a very Happy Waitangi Day 2016!
 
 
Did you like our article? How do you celebrate Waitangi Day? Please feel free to react and share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. 
 
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