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Otago Anniversary Day 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

Otago, a city in New Zealand, has been inhabited for a very long time, possibly since the arrival of the Mori in the 1300s. According to many accounts,

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Each year, New Zealand honors one of its provinces, Otago, on Otago Anniversary Day, officially observed on March 23. The actual celebrations, which include multiple local events, parties, and more, occur on a public holiday that occurs on the Monday following March 23. People explore the region, study its history, and congregate in one of Otago’s major communities, such as Dunedin.

The background of Otago Anniversary Day

Otago, a city in New Zealand, has been inhabited for a very long time, possibly since the arrival of the Mori in the 1300s. According to many accounts, they lived in relative isolation from the rest of the world until the arrival of the first European explorers in the late 18th century.

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While the first of these explorers, most notably Captain James Cook, did not approach Otago, they did report seeing a fire blazing on the peninsula in 1770, which is recorded as the first human contact between Mori and Europeans in Otago.

Over time, an increasing number of European settlers immigrated to New Zealand and constructed residences and lives on these lands. Otago, which had not yet been settled by most Europeans, was still Mori territory. In the 1830s and 1840s, when the Mori consented to sell portions of their traditional land to European settlers, this changed. The 31 July 1844 sale of land to a British company for £2,400 paved the way for a significant European settlement in Otago. The original name for this settlement was New Edinburgh, but they ultimately chose Otago.

Then, in 1848, the first surge of settlers arrived aboard two ships: the ‘John Wickliffe,’ which arrived first, and the ‘Philip Laing,’ which arrived three weeks later with twice as many passengers as the first ship. In 1853, these settlers founded the municipality of Otago, thereby establishing the Otago Province.

By 1875, all such regions (known as provinces) had been eliminated, including the Otago Province. Only their names and geographic boundaries exist today, and they are now referred to as provincial districts. Numerous of them observe their unique anniversaries as public holidays, although the dates and festivities differ by region.

In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, a growing number of New Zealanders demanded the abolition of Provincial Anniversary holidays as a result of the absence of provinces. Nevertheless, these holidays continue to exist, as many regions maintain traditions and events for these weekends.

World Meteorological Day 2023: Date, History, How to Observe


Learn everything about Otago

Learn more about Otago, its major attractions, and what makes this location so special by consulting a variety of online and print resources. You can also explore the cuisine in nearby restaurants and establishments that offer authentic New Zealand dining.

Visit Otago

Plan a trek to Otago with your family, perhaps around the Otago Anniversary Day. Explore the region virtually using online resources, videos, and documentary films if a trip is not possible.

Celebrate Otago as you see fit

This holiday is spent by locals engaging in activities they appreciate. You may also take the day off, go on a short excursion, sample authentic New Zealand cuisine, or plan any other enjoyable activity you desire.


Nearly 80 percent of Otago residents are of European descent, with the majority being descendants of the Scottish colonists who arrived on the John Wickliff.

In the past, each province was governed by its own administration and had its own authority.

The world’s rarest penguin, the world’s rarest sea lion, the New Zealand fur seal, and the little blue penguin are all found in New Zealand’s Otago and adjacent areas.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the steepest thoroughfare in the world is Baldwin thoroughfare in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Once upon a time, a ship named Dunedin successfully transported refrigerated meat, establishing New Zealand as a significant agricultural supplier despite its isolation from other markets.


Year Date Day
2023 March 23 Thursday
2024 March 23 Saturday
2025 March 23 Sunday
2026 March 23 Monday
2027 March 23 Tuesday
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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