Otago Anniversary Day 2024

Otago Anniversary Day 2024

Otago Anniversary Day is a public holiday celebrated in the Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:


  • Marks the arrival of the first Scottish settlers in Otago on March 23, 1848.


  • Public holiday on the Monday closest to March 23rd, allowing for planning of events.
  • Schools and most businesses are closed.


  • Celebrates Otago’s unique history and culture.
  • Opportunity for locals to come together and enjoy festivities.


  • Parades, cultural performances, and various events held throughout Otago.
  • Dunedin, the main city, is a popular destination for celebrations.

Even though today (March 21, 2024) isn’t Otago Anniversary Day, the actual anniversary falls on March 23 this year. The public holiday itself will likely be next week, on the Monday closest to March 23rd.

History of Otago Anniversary Day

Otago Anniversary Day celebrates the arrival of the first Scottish settlers in Otago, New Zealand, on March 23, 1848. Though the official founding of Otago Province came a few years later in 1853, the arrival of these settlers marked a significant turning point in the region’s history.

Here’s a breakdown of some key dates:

  • March 23, 1848: Two ships carrying Scottish settlers from the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland arrive in Otago Harbor. This event forms the basis for Otago Anniversary Day.
  • 1853: Otago Province is officially established.
  • 1856: The first celebration specifically commemorating the founding of Otago takes place, laying the groundwork for Otago Anniversary Day as we know it today.

While the actual arrival date is March 23rd, Otago Anniversary Day is observed on the Monday closest to that date for convenience. It’s a public holiday in the Otago region, particularly celebrated in Dunedin, the main city.

Otago Anniversary Day Activities

There are many ways to celebrate Otago Anniversary Day, here are a few ideas:

  • Attend Otago parades and other cultural events: Otago parades showcase the vibrant culture and heritage of Otago Province. You can find colourful floats, marching bands, and cultural performances.

  • Visit local museums and galleries: Otago’s museums and galleries are a great way to learn more about Otago’s history and culture. Some of the popular ones include Otago Museum, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.

  • Explore Otago region’s attractions: Otago is a beautiful region with stunning scenery. You can take a hike in the mountains, visit the beaches, or go for a scenic drive. Some popular attractions include Otago Peninsula, Central Otago wineries, and Milford Sound.

  • Have a BBQ with friends: Enjoy some delicious food, good company, and celebrate the holiday together.

  • Have a game night: Gather some friends or family and have a game night. Whether it’s board games, card games, or outdoor activities, it’s a fun way to spend time together and make new memories.

Who celebrates Otago anniversary?

Otago Anniversary is celebrated by people in the Otago region, which is the southernmost third of New Zealand’s South Island. The largest celebrations typically take place in Dunedin, the main city in Otago.

Originally, Otago Province was founded by Scottish settlers who arrived on March 23, 1848. The anniversary commemorates this arrival and the founding of the province, although provinces in New Zealand were abolished in 1876. The tradition of celebrating Otago Anniversary has continued though.

Also Read: All World Days

By Admin

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