February 6 - Waitangi Day in Niue

Posted on February 6, 2019

Today's world holiday is actually a New Zealand holiday - see "Waitangi Day in New Zealand" in "Also on this date" below - with a nod to musician Bob Marley's birthday - see that post in "Also on this date," below, as well!

The flag of Niue
The reason that the tiny South Pacific nation of Niue celebrates a New Zealand holiday is because it in "free association" with N.Z. This means that Niue's foreign affairs and diplomatic relations and defense are all mostly handled by the much larger nation of New Zealand, and when the people of Niue join the armed forces or fight in wars, they do so as part of the New Zealand military.

Speaking of the people of Niue, it turns out that almost all Niueans in the world live in New Zealand!

Like I said, Niue is tiny - only about 100 square miles (around 260 square kilometers) - and there are fewer than 2,000 people living there. With such a teeny population, there isn't much economic opportunity - and so about 90 to 95% of all Niueans have moved to N.Z. for jobs and other opportunities. 

The people who have stayed get to enjoy all this:

Can you see why tourism is a biggie on Niue?

Now, about today's holiday: Waitangi Day is celebrated with speeches, concerts, children's sports, fashion shows, and beach outings. Relaxation and reggae music - the latter in honor of Bob Marley - may be the biggest two features of the Niue version of this holiday. 

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