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Waitangi Day in London

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Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy

Yeah for Waitangi day, best day around! Oddly enough the best place in the world to celebrate Waitangi day is not in New Zealand but in London. And believe me this knocks the socks of Australia day or whatever it is the South Africans do (eat really big sausages?).

There is nothing else like it, thousands upon thousands of young obnoxious, drunk Kiwis braving the cold to doing the Haka illegally outside Westminster Abbey. Held on February 6th (as if you didn’t know) many New Zealanders paint themselves up, don the flag or a grass skirt and get drunk on the Circle Line. To play the game anybody involved has to chug down one drink at each of the 27 stops. 

Most of the Poms have no idea what Waitangi day is, so there are quite a few bewildered commuters on the tube who think the world is coming to an end (it’s quite an amusing watch). The nearby pubs as far back as Victoria Station are packed from lunchtime onwards and getting a drink is nearly impossible. Follow the drunken crowd any which way you can to Westminster Abbey. Now my one piece of advice is get to Westminster early. I’m not short by any means, but I can never see a dammed thing.

At around 4 p.m all the men brave freezing London temperatures, strip off and do the Haka, I think there are a few "God Defend New Zealand's warbled as well. Last time I was there a bus load of elderly American tourists got surrounded by anxious young blokes eager to sing their bit and they were freaked -should of been glad to get the best seat in the house. The police try to keep a peaceful eye on things but the English Bobby (bless them) doesn’t really like to interrupt. Apart from the copious amounts of Fosters beer around it’s a little bit of New Zealand far far from home.

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