Waitangi Day (wye-TANG-ee) has been a public holiday in New Zealand since 1974 and commemorates the 1840 signing of the country’s Treaty of Waitangi, considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. The day was first officially recognized in 1934, and has since been celebrated every 6th of February.
Official festivities, including Māori cultural performances, speeches and a naval salute, are held at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands, often referred to as the birthplace of NZ. There is also a three-day festival with music, dance, food and traditional Māori customs for residents and visitors to experience.
The Waitangi Day Bastion Point Festival will feature some of NZ’s biggest acts that play on Pandora on NZ Reggae, Roots, Dub, including legendary hip hop, R&B and reggae artist and producer Che Fu, roots reggae band Katchafire and 1814, an 8-piece NZ reggae group. Headlining the festival is Dave Dobbyn, one of the most popular of all NZ Singer-Songwriters. His career started in the late 70s with Th’ Dudes and continued in the 80s with DD Smash.
If you’re celebrating the holiday with a day at the beach or having a picnic or barbeque with family and friends, you might enjoy NZ 90s Summer Hits, where you’ll hear Savage Garden, Silverchair, Natalie Imbruglia and Bic Runga, or NZ Today’s Hits, which features music from Six60, Fun., Rudimental and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Whether you’re enjoying Waitangi Day as an expatriate in the States or listening to Pandora from home in New Zealand, we thank you for including Pandora!
Some cool Fun Facts on New Zealand:
- There are around nine sheep to every one human in New Zealand!
- New Zealand is a nation of firsts – including being the first country to give women the right to vote (1893)
- New Zealanders are often referred to as ‘Kiwis’ – the reference is derived from the Kiwi bird, native to NZ and the country’s national symbol (the term is not considered offensive; it is generally viewed as a symbol of pride and endearment for the people of New Zealand)
- ‘Choice bro!’ is local speak for OK, cool, I agree, I understand and, it’s been good… it has many meanings, but is always positive!
- Foods to have originated from NZ include Hangi food (a Māori tradition in which meats or fish are cooked with vegetables in a pit), Pavlova, Colonial goose (which is actually a roast leg of lamb or mutton made to look like goose), lolly cake, hokey pokey ice cream and Anzac biscuits
- New Zealand is known for its traditional Māori dance ‘The Haka’ – a traditional ancestral war cry made popular in recent history as it is performed by the NZ rugby team before matches
- The Waitangi Day Festival in Auckland includes national ki-orahi championships. Ki-o-rahi predates rugby and is a traditional pre-European Māori ball game that is played on a circular field with swift inter-passing of a ki (ball) woven from flax
Happy Waitangi Day!
-Ron (Curation Team)