April Fool’s Day (1 April 2021)
The first day of April each year is known as April Fool’s Day in New Zealand. Keep your wits about you as this is a day where Kiwis often play light-hearted pranks or tricks on others. Much loved by both kids and adults who are still young at heart, the custom on April Fools is to play practical jokes on friends then shout ‘April Fools’ to expose that it was a joke all along. Big brands often play April Fool’s Day pranks, announcing outrageous fake products. Even the news is not safe on April Fool’s Day! Many news websites release a funny or ridiculous fake story first thing in the morning in the aim of tricking their readers before they realise it is April Fool’s Day.
Easter Weekend (2 – 5 April 2021)
Good Friday is the start of the four-day Easter weekend in New Zealand. To Kiwis, Easter weekend is a time for eating hot cross buns, going away with friends for the long weekend or spending time with family. Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays, so most businesses and schools will be closed. Easter is a religious holiday for Christian’s so many churches will hold special services, especially on Easter Sunday. Children particularly enjoy Easter Sunday as the Easter Bunny makes an appearance, bringing chocolate eggs for them. Many families hold Easter egg hunts where children will go looking for the chocolates hidden by the Easter Bunny in the garden.
Clocks change (4 April 2021)
The time changes twice a year in New Zealand, once in Spring to take advantage of the extra daylight (daylight savings time) and once in Autumn when it goes back again (standard time). Daylight savings will end when clocks go back by 1 hour at 3am on 4 April 2021. The time change means you get an extra hour in bed in the morning. Most digital devices, like mobile phones, will change time automatically however you need to manually change any analogue clocks or watches. You might want to let you family back home know about the time change so you can coordinate the best time to call each other. The phrase ‘Spring forward, Fall back’ is a helpful way to memorise which way the clocks change seasonally!
ANZAC Day (25 - 26 April 2021)
ANZAC Day is a public holiday and national day of remembrance, marking the first landing of the ANZAC’s (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) at the beaches of Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. ANZAC Day commemorates all New Zealand and Australian soldiers killed in war. On ANZAC Day ceremonies take place across the country in the early morning. These are traditional events – poems are read (including the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen), the Last Post is played on bugle and parades are often part of the ceremony. Wreathes and poppy flowers are then laid on memorials, graves or statues commemorating soldiers who have fought in wars. The largest ceremonies are in cities, but regional towns and villages also hold their own gatherings to remember the fallen. ANZAC Day is held on 25 April each year, as this is a Sunday in 2021 the public holiday will fall on Monday 26 April 2021.
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