Monday, February 6, 2012

Waitangi Day

Today is Waitangi Day in New Zealand - although yesterday was Feb. 6th in NZ, but I am celebrating today.

Waitangi Day celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. This treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire and gave the Maori rights as subjects of the British crown. Over 500 Maori chiefs signed this founding document of New Zealand.

The day is filled with cultural performances, speeches, naval salutes, food and fun:

Here they are opening up a hangi (food cooked in the ground - yummy!)
and the ever-present Pavlova

 The Ngatokimatawhaorua, one of the world's largest Maori ceremonial wake (war canoe), sits on the grounds at Waitangi. The 70-year-old wake was refurbished and relaunched for the celebrations in 2010. The enormous wooden vessel holds 80 paddlers and 55 passengers

Happy Waitangi Day to all Kiwis around the world...and all honorary Kiwis -
our friends and loved ones