Anzac Day

The students examine some images typical of what is seen during Anzac Day ceremonies in New Zealand.

Latogia Halavaka

Latogia Halavaka has his father’s name clipped to his jacket at a commemoration of servicemen from the Niuean village of Mutalau. By Glenn Jeffrey, 2005. NewsPixNZ. NZH-1003965.


Every year, on 25 April, we commemorate those who have served in wars. These images are from Anzac Day events that have taken place around the country. Anzac Day often starts with a dawn ceremony, where traditions are followed such as the playing of the Last Post, the reading of the Anzac Dedication, and the laying of wreaths. Past and current servicemen and women, or their descendants, wear their uniforms and display their medals. Anzac Day helps us to remember servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians who died as a result of wars as well as those who survived them but have since died. It is a way to honour their efforts.

Anzac Day is one of the few days in the year when shops must be closed until 1 p.m., which allows everyone the opportunity to take part in the commemoration events and to show respect for the significance of the day. This shows how important Anzac Day is in New Zealand.

Other types of events can be commemorative too. Many people have their own traditions – whānau events such as births, weddings, and tangi, or national events such as Waitangi Day.

Key questions 

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view this image or ceremony in different ways?

Possible discussion questions:

  • What does the word “Anzac” stand for?
  • Why is Anzac Day important to lots of people in New Zealand?
  • What is a tradition? Do your family have traditions that they follow on Anzac Day?
  • What are some other things that you and your family remember together every year? What kinds of things do you do together on these special occasions? For example, is there special music? Do you have special foods or go to special places?
  • Why are some people in the photographs wearing medals? What do they represent?
  • Do you have any medals for sports achievements or anything else?
  • CM
  • Print.
  • Share.