The popular festivals in New Zealand are a true reflection of the cultural mix between the Māori culture and the western culture of the British descendants. Although there are festivities which are clearly original to the original inhabitants of the country, other events are due to British customs.
In addition to numerous festivals and concerts, the main popular festivals in New Zealand are events which you cannot miss if you visit the country. For most of the year, New Zealanders celebrate different traditional festivals which are typical of the New Zealand people. In these celebrations, music, dance, and traditions are the protagonists. Let's see, month by month, which are the most important festivities.
The month of January is full of festivals in the different regions of New Zealand. One of the most popular festivals is the Auckland Folk Festival, which is held in early January. For three days, the city is filled with the best music and the best vibrations.
In New Plymouth, for example, until 24 January, the Festival of Lights takes place, a festival full of lights, live music and traditional food. Don't miss the Wellington Pasifika Festival on January 17, a multitudinous festival with different musical activities, art and craft shows and local gastronomy. Also in Wellington, you can participate in the Summer City, which runs from January to March and hosts hundreds of free concerts.
At the end of January, from the 24th to the 26th, in Auckland, the Seafood Festival is celebrated, a perfect time to enjoy seafood accompanied by a good New Zealand wine and many entertainment activities. Also on 26th January, and also in Auckland, you can participate in the most international music at Saint Jerome's Festival.
On the sixth of February, Waitangi Day takes place, undoubtedly one of the most important events in New Zealand, as it is the National Holiday. During the celebrations, speeches are held in the different Kiwi communities. Ceremonies and traditional dance and song events are also organised.
On the other hand, for fans of rugby, the national sport of New Zealand, between the 6th and the 7th of February, the best events related to this sport are celebrated. But don't worry, because if sport isn't your thing, you have the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival on February 14, a perfect occasion to try New Zealand's culinary delicacies.
We continue with the popular festivals in New Zealand, to attend more festivals full of music and colour, such as the Auckland Lantern Festival on 26 February. A little earlier, on 13 February, the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival begins for lovers of art in all its expressions. Two full weeks of activities of music, art, circus, dance, cinema, theatre and literature. It is undoubtedly one of the most important and popular events in New Zealand.
During the month of March you can discover another of New Zealand's most cultural popular festivals: the New Zealand International Arts Festival, although this takes place every two years. This lasts all month, and hosts a variety of live music performances, plays, recitals, dances and many more cultural events.
Also in March, but getting closer to tradition, if you visit the country you will see the Hamilton Shearing Sheep Competition. The shearers compete in dexterity and speed, to get the best wool in the country.
At the end of April, on the 25th, New Zealanders celebrate the Day of the Soldier, or ANZAC day, which commemorates the participants of the army which participated in the First World War. It is an event marked by parades of war veterans, to whom they pay tribute and national recognition.
If you like sports, you have to attend one of the most important New Zealand events for runners, the Rotorua Marathon. What better way to discover the beautiful Lake Rotorua than by participating as a runner. A competition which starts in the government gardens and crosses the Hamurana hills, to return to Rotorua.
June, July and August
During the New Zealand winter, on 6th June, the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is celebrated. A decidedly patriotic party for the British descendants. In addition to this official holiday, in July, there are many other cultural and sporting events, such as the Queenstown Winter Festival.
For fashion lovers, Fashion Week takes place in August, attracting thousands of visitors, and is also surrounded by other events such as exhibitions, music, and gastronomic samples, as well as fashion shows.
September, October and November
At the end of the New Zealand winter, we will be able to attend or even participate in an international competition of trout fishermen, which takes place during the month of September. We can also sign up for the Auckland International Marathon or enjoy the Taranaki Festival of New Plymouth, in October. In November, we will be able to see the livestock exhibition of Christchurch or celebrate the Day of the Gold Seekers, in Otago.
We end the year with another of New Zealand's popular festivities: Christmas and the New Year. As in many other countries, New Zealanders also celebrate the Christian Christmas. But it is the New Year festivity which takes on special relevance. Throughout the country, there are hundreds of outdoor events, both traditional and modern, lasting several days.
As you can see, New Zealand is one of the countries with more events and popular parties which you can discover.