Christmas and New Year in New Zealand

Christmas and New Year in New Zealand


For most New Zealanders, Christmas Day, 25 December, marks the beginning of the holiday period extending to New Year’s Day and beyond. It is of course summer in the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.

Most Kiwis will want to spend this time with family and friends. Those who celebrate Christmas Day will usually start by opening gifts from under the Christmas tree, then begin thinking about the main meal of the day, typically a roast of lamb, maybe followed by pavlova, fruit and ice cream, and a decorated fruit cake.

New Year is also a National Holiday, traditionally marked by festivities on New Year’s Eve.

The increasingly multicultural nature of New Zealand today means that these occasions will be marked in many different ways by our diverse ethnic groups.

For example, Chinese New Year, observed between late January and mid-February, is now a focus of celebration, and the Auckland Lantern Festival is one of Auckland’s favourite and most anticipated events. Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, also marks Chinese New Year with the annual Chinese New Year Festival, featuring an Asian market, a street parade and plenty of cultural entertainment.

There is now a growing awareness and celebration of our own indigenous New Year, Matariki, marking the start of a new year and a new phase of life and growth. This is generally signalled by the first new moon after the rising of the star cluster Matariki, or the Pleiades, in mid-winter (May-June). Because Matariki arrives at the end of the harvest time, it is associated with abundance, sharing and new planting.

To celebrate the passing of another year, we offer compliments of the season from the rich diversity of all the languages of the Pacific Islands and Aotearoa.

Ia manuia le Kerisimasi ma le Tausaga Fou

Me nomuni na marau ni siga ni sucu kei na tawase ni yabaki vou

Ngā mihi nui mō te Tau Hou me te Wā Huritau o te Ariki
(Aotearoa/New Zealand)

'Ia 'oa'oa i te Noera 'e 'ia maita'i i te mau 'ōro'a matahiti 'āpī

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

Kilisimasi fiefia mo ha ta'u fo'ou monū'ia

Manuia te Kilihimahi ma te Tauhaga Fou

Manuia te Kilisimasi mo te Tausaga Fou

Monuina e Kirisimasi mo e Tau Foou

Kia manuia rava i teia Kiritimiti e te Mataiti Ou
(Cook Islands)

German: Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr!

Croatian: Sretan Božić i sretna Nova godina!

Serbian: Срећан Божић и срећна нова година!

Chinese(traditional): 聖誕快樂!恭賀新年!

Chinese (simplified): 圣诞快乐!恭贺新年!

French : Joyeux Noël et bonne année a tous !

Italian: Buon natale e buon anno! 

Japanese: メリークリスマス! 良いお年を!

Czech:    Veselé vánoce a šťastný nový rok

Danish:    Glædelig jul og godt nytår

Dutch:    Zalig kerstfeest en gelukkig nieuwjaar

Finnish:    Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta

Greek:   Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Ετος

Hebrew:    חג שמח (“Gut Yontev”) =”Happy Holidays”

Hungarian:    Kellemes karácsonyt és boldog új évet

Icelandic:    Gleðileg jól og farsælt komandi ár

Korean:    메리 크리스마스 잘 지내고 새해 복 많이 받으세요

Norwegian:    God jul og godt nytt år

Polish:    Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

Portuguese:    Feliz Natal e próspero ano novo

Romanian:    Crăciun fericit şi un an nou fericit

Russian:    С Рождеством Христовым и С наступающим Новым Годом

Slovakian:    Veselé vianoce a Štastný nový rok

Spanish:    ¡Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo!

Swedish:    God jul och gott nytt år

Thai:    สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส และสวัสดีปีใหม่

Turkish:    İyi Noeller ve Mutlu Yıllar

Vietnamese:    Chúc Giáng Sinh Vui Vẻ và Chúc Năm Mới Tốt Lành

Welsh:    Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda

Klingon:  QISmaS DatIvjaj ‘ej DIS chu’ DatIvjaj (sing.)

QISmaS botIvjaj ‘ej DIS chu’ botIvjaj (plur.)

Breton:  Nedeleg laouen ha bloavezh mat!

Guarani:  Tupãra'y'ára rory ha Ary Pyahu guapo!