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Waitangi Day

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Waitangi Day is a public holiday in New Zealand held to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the native Maori and European people. Every year on the 6th of February a huge celebration takes place and the main spot is on Waitangi grounds, a few kilometers away from the Bay of Islands, where I was celebrating my birthday a few days beforehand.

I ended up joining the local Maoris for the Waitangi day dawn ceremony at 6 am(!!). Around mid-day different Maori tribes paddled their Waka boats around the peninsula and later came out of the water to dance their traditional Haka.

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Massive number of Maoris dancing looked incredible!

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There was also a fair held in a park in Waitangi with different Maori crafts and foods present. Interestingly, the whole town felt different that day. It was full of compassionate and strong cultural background-having Maoris.

Waitangi day was quite an experience! If I did not end up joining my Maori friends, I would have not learned all about the strong Maori culture hidden somewhere in the developed and westernized New Zealand.

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