Anzac Day remembered across the Pacific

Lined Circle


Anzac Day is observed on 25 April. It commemorates New Zealanders killed in war and honours returned and serving servicemen and women.

The Anzac Day ceremony of 25 April is rich in tradition and ritual. It is a form of military funeral and follows a specific pattern. The day's ceremonies have two major parts: one at dawn and another later in the morning.

The Ceremony

The making of Anzac Day

Anzac Day, as we know it, began to take shape almost as soon as news reached New Zealand of the landing of soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April.

Anzac Day took on a new meaning in peacetime. Most New Zealanders saw it as a time to express sorrow, not to glorify war. It became a sacred day, but one that was secular in tone and less like a funeral.

A sacred holiday

Another War and Peace

Public enthusiasm for Anzac Day waxed and waned during the 1920s and 1930s. Another war rekindled interest. For some years, crowds flocked to Anzac Day.

More New Zealanders attended Anzac Day ceremonies in the early 21st century. Being at Gallipoli on 25 April became a rite of passage for many young Kiwis. Each generation of New Zealanders redefines the day to suit the mood of the times, and the last 50 years has seen much redefinition.

Modern Anzac Day