Friday, 23 December 2016

Rotorua's Christmas Style 1966 and 2016

Celebrating Rotorua's Christmas style

2016 Events

Rotorua Library's Summer Reading Events & Competitions
Rotorua Glo Festival 2016

GLO Movies 

Christmas Parade 2016

Interislander Summer Festival Rotorua Races

Puarenga Park Run Santa-Dash

Get Green School Holiday Activities

The Fish Out of Water Annual Competition (since 2007) check out this year's awesome entries at a shop near you!

Here's one from last summer :

Granny by Jane Matua

Rotorua Photo News is available to read at Rotorua Library, in the Heritage & Research Area.
A unique Christmas party
From the Rotorua Photo News 10 Feb 1967, photo's by Jack Lang

The Telephone Exchange is transformed every Christmas
This display was in the Rotorua Photo News 10 Feb 1967, photo's by Jack Lang.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Book Review : Tangata Whenua: The world of the Māori / by Don Stafford

Tangata Whenua: The world of the Māori

Don Stafford was a local to Rotorua and a historian to the city and he presents an authoritative but easily understood account of the history of the New Zealand Māori.

A broad diversity of topics is examined with information drawn from tradition, myth and history.

He starts with the migrations of the Polynesian people and moves to the story of Kupe. The communal living of Māori in iwi and hapū is explained through protocol, custom, connection to the land and connection to each other.

He includes the legend of a well-known love story between Hinemoa, a beautiful chieftainess who lived at Ōwhata  and Tūtānekai a handsome young chief who lived on Mokoia Island in the middle of Lake Rotorua.

He showcases carvers, weavers and includes artwork by Gottfried Lindauer and Charles F. Goldie. Throughout, the author presents both traditional illustration and contemporary photographs that successfully support the text.

For Māori and non-Māori this is worth reading and for those local to Rotorua, there may be someone that you recognise within these pages.

You can find this book in the Māori non-fiction section at 305.8994 STA

Review by Ani Sharland. Heritage and Research Team Leader

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Book Review : Around the lake: the story of the Rotorua Marathon / by Simon Earle

Around the Lake : The Fletcher Marathon 

Rotorua Photo News November 16th 1963

Simon Earle starts his book with a foreword by Lorraine Moller and Acknowledgements to Dennis & Pam Kenny for their comprehensive collection of marathon records and photographs which are included in the book.

Then the first chapter begins "Man who has done them all - Colin Smyth, whose involvement goes back to 1962 when he was third of the 5 finishers in the club's first lap of the lake".

He goes on to showcase the names in the Rotorua Marathon Hall of Fame and in a later chapter the women who have conquered the marathon.

Throughout the author has quotes from the athlete's  and photographs of competitors, winners and organisers of the marathon. Through the stories of the athlete's is woven the history of this iconic marathon. A comprehensive list of the Marathon Survivors Club and the Marathon Hall of Fame are included at the end of the book.

Well worth reading for those keen marathoners and marathon supporters, even if you are not athletically inclined, this is a fascinating story of the Rotorua Marathon 1962-Present.

You can find it at 796.4252z EAR in the Sports section.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Armistice Day, 11th November

11:00 am on the 11th November 1918

End of the war

Abandoned by its allies – Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria-Hungary all ceased hostilities – its population restive as the blockade undermined morale and its armies in disarray, Germany accepted defeat. An armistice on the Western Front came into effect at 11 a.m. on 11 November 1918. New Zealanders at the front quietly rejoiced; at home celebrations were marred by the ravages of the influenza pandemic.  Te Ara

Rotorua's WW1 Memorial in the Government Gardens 

To see the service for Armistice Day 2015 on the Daily Post website click this link :
Armistice Day Commemoration 2015

To read about Armistice Day and it's significance, the following sites are most informative and useful for those who want to remember this important day in world history:


New Zealand History

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph

Archives NZ : Archway

28 (Maori) Battalion

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Who's Who in Rotorua

Here's a sample of Who in 1964

Star Electrical existed in Rotorua from the early 1960s as two separate shops, one on each side of Tutanekai Street. By 1967 the site of the Old Empire Hotel was bought by R. Archibald and the hotel demolished by Flowerdays Demolition Co. for £5000.

Star Building was then built to join the two shops together as one.  This building now houses the Dollar Value shop, Pagani fashion store and Vegas fashion (2012)
This photograph taken by Library Staff in 2012.

From the 1964 Who's Who in Rotorua.
 Rotorua Library has, from 1961-1990, the 'Who's Who in Rotorua' publication which gives a snapshot of Rotorua's business heritage. 

Friday, 7 October 2016

A Bygone Era in Rotorua

A Few Random Facts about Rotorua

  • In 1965 Rotorua had 40! Insurance agents and companies, must have been a boom for business at that time, 8 Post Offices and 21 Government department offices. 

  • In 1950-1960 Rotorua had a Buffalo Club, a Druids Hall, an Old Folks Sick and Blind Social Club, a Rotorua Swords Club, the 30,000 Club, an Operatic Society, an Chess Club, a Pig Council, a Wrestling Association, the National Party Club and all the other usual sports clubs e.g. Rugby, Tennis, Anglers Assn, Cricket, Lawn Bowls, Yacht & Power Boat, Golf, Tramping & Skiing...

  • Fenton Park (suburb) was officially opened by Mayor Murray Linton with a parade of homes competition won by the home built by W.R. Burgess, 2nd the home built by Bay Construction and 3rd the home built by Goodwin Homes. 
Rotorua Photo News 7 April 1967

  • Paradise Valley Springs boasted they had New Zealand's largest rainbow trout that would leap for food on a stick.
For a walk down memory lane come into the Library and look through some of our unique resources, such as Rotorua Photo News, The UBD for Rotorua 1957-1969, The 1961-1990 Who's Who in Rotorua and our copies of Rotorua Tourist Guides from 1959-1989.

Tulip Festival in Rotorua

2016 Tulip Fest 

Rotorua hosted its very first Tulip Festival in 2014 with a range of events including guided tulip walks, guest speakers and a weekend market in Jean Batten Square. 

The dazzling display of tulips have become a major highlight of Rotorua's floral showcase in the inner city and nearby parks.

Photograph by Alison Leigh 2015.
To have your own Tulip Fest in your garden start planning now as you drive around Rotorua admiring all the many colours and varieties.

Pick up a book or two from the Rotorua Library :

Summer Bulbs by Peter McHoy 635.94 MCH
The perennial matchmaker by Nancy Ondra 635.932 OND

or check out this video of Eion Scarrow on 'Dig This' for gardening advice from the 1970s and Maggie Barry's Ellerslie Flower Show on NZOnScreen.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Mod Look of 1960s

NZ Fashion follows the Beatles and Mary Quant

The Mod Look

The bouffant beehive hair-do was traded in for the Mary Quant inspired “Mod Look.” The trendy fashion statement was an inspiration for Ray Columbus & The Invaders. Men’s hair was longer, black velvet and brown corduroy was the on-trend fabric and Chelsea boots were all the rage.

The “Mod Look” on Ray Columbus and The Invaders on this video clip

Monday, 19 September 2016

New Zealand Fashion and Fashion Magazines 1960s

Vogue Magazine and New Zealand Fashion

TEAL partnered with American Vogue magazine to launch a line of women’s clothing. TEAL flew New York model, Margot McKendry around NZ and the islands to show off fashion designer Handmacher’s women’s clothing collection.

A smartly dressed family on a day out in Christchurch shows that everyday fashion can make a statement.

Fashion Boutique, James Smith Ltd, Wellington, early 1960s, DigitalNZ has a number of photographs depicting fashion in Wellington.
James Smith Ltd early 1960s

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Fashion Shows of the 1960s

Fashion Shows 

Formally organised fashion shows may have been limited to exclusive events, but informal fashion shows were seen at events like the races, when the public went all out.

Check out this gorgeous linen suit worn at the races

Fashion show in Rotorua

Mannequin Parade at Brents Hotel November, 1963. Organised by Mrs C.Lodge. 
Models top left to right: Rama McIlwraith, Gayle Mullis, Jackie Davies. 
Models bottom left to right: Gay Smith, Jill Crawford, Leona Martelli.
Rotorua Photo News, No. 3. Nov. 16, 1963
Posted by Ani Sharland, 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Fashions of the 1960s

New Zealand

Fashion during the 1960’s was pared down. Dresses were straight, plain & brief  and the hemlines went way above the knee and eventually the ‘mini’ was born. Women ditched the suspended hosiery and waisted tights were in. Men’s clothes were straight and narrow and trouser cuffs disappeared. Men’s lapels became thin and buttoned high and shirt collars were buttoned down.

High Fashion in Work Uniforms

Fashion designers both local and international contributed to high fashion and work uniforms in New Zealand.

TEAL’s hostesses uniform were designed by Christian Dior

Aucklander, Bruce Papas won the top fashion design competition, The Golden Shears

Monday, 29 August 2016

Help for Family History at your Library

Rotorua Library Genealogy Collections

Rotorua Library has a selection of different sources to help you trace your ancestors :

How to books, like the following titles :
  •  "A beginner's guide to online genealogy: learn how to trace your family history and discover your roots" by Michael Dunn. 
  • "Unofficial guide to" by Nancy Hendrickson.
  • "Writing your family history" by Gill Blanchard.
  • Tracing your ancestors through family photographs" by Jayne Shrimpton.
District Histories and School Jubilee publications. e.g.

  • "Who do you think you are", published monthly.
  • "NZ Genealogist" 
  • "Family Tree" 
  • "Australian Family Tree Connections"
Local Newspapers,via Microfiche/film for past newspapers and paper copies for last 6 months, and access to historic newspapers via Papers Past

Online Access in the Library for the following :   (in Library use only)  
Find My Past    (in Library use only)
NZ Gazettes     (in Library use only)

Links to these can be found on our website :

NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages (Historic) ; Rotorua Cemetery Index ; Archway (Archives NZ).

For help of the personal kind : Come down to our Heritage & Research area in the new 'Temporary' Library at 1238 Pukuatua Street, see you there.

Also don't forget the Volunteers from the Rotorua Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, are happy to chat with you about your family history research queries, in the Library every second Wednesday of the month. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

August is Family History Month

Rotorua Library has Genealogy books and other sources

Have you thought of using old newspapers online to search for birth and death notices? 

National Library of NZ has a fabulous reliable online resource called Papers Past, although not all births, marriages and deaths are published this is still a very good place to start for all of New Zealand's newspapers that are digitised. 

Here are just a few samples of what you may find :


Brief and to the point : Hastings Standard, 14 November 1898

Wedding of Miss Nora Curtis of Rotorua in
King Country Chronicle 15 March 1909
A Rotorua Silver Wedding in Evening Post 21 September 1939
For more information click the link to Papers Past at the top of this post.
Also check out previous posts for Family History Month

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The new, temporary Rotorua Library.

Rotorua Library has a new location, 1238 Pukuatua Street.

From this 

To this
and this
Official opening ceremony 29 July 2016
Read all about our new space on the Rotorua Library website

Come and see us and enjoy our new 'Temporary Library' space at 1238 Pukuatua Street. We still have great books, magazines, DVD's and more available to borrow and free internet for all. Try the coffee at the Coffee Shack, ably provided by brother and sister team, Jason and Delina Dibben. 

We look forward to seeing you! 

Monday, 25 July 2016

On this day in the Hot Lakes Chronicle

On this day in the Hot Lakes Chronicle - 24 July 1895

In July of 1895, Rotorua was experiencing very chilly temperatures.

Temperatures of 14° Fahrenheit or minus 10° Celsius were reported on in the Hot Lakes Chronicle. At least locals may have been able to warm up at the Priest's Bath and the Sulphur Bath which ranged from 35-41° Celsius.

 While we now have an abundance of beautiful trees in Rotorua, in 1895 residents had been deterred from planting trees by the "evils" of stray cattle.

The Town Board took matters into their own hands and decided to plant 600 trees throughout the town. As well as leading by example, they moved to strictly enforce the Impounding Act and abolish de-pasturing licences which allowed farmers to graze the land.

Instead of keeping stock away from young trees with barbed wire, they decided to try a new form of tree guard suggested by Mr Roger Dansey.

Something that hasn't changed since 1895 is the recommendation to only take to the roads when sober.

To get the latest literature in 1895, you could view print catalogues at the Hot Lakes Chronicle office. Of course it's now far easier and you can view the Rotorua Library catalogue online!

The 24 July 1895 edition of the Hot Lakes Chronicle also reports on issues such as postal delays, the recommendation for a Public Hall, the initiation of a Māori band, town land agreements and the wit of Guide Sophia.

The Hot Lakes Chronicle was digitised in a joint project between Rotorua Library and the National Library. So much can be learned of our past on this fabulous resource which is available online at Papers Past.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Rotorua District Library is moving

A Brief History of the Rotorua Library

21 March 1889
·        Some 15 residents met in an old building, firstly the Comet store and later a school, next to Mrs Morrison’s Hotel at Ohinemutu. They felt the need for a common meeting ground where they could exchange ideas without formality and it was proposed to establish a Public Reading Room.
·        Committee of 12 chosen with Dr Ginders elected as president and Mr J C Blythe as secretary (he was president later).
·        Name chosen: The Rotorua Public Library and Reading Room.
·        All visitors to the district allowed to use the Reading Room free of charge but according to rules and bylaws to be made.
·        A subscription list was opened and £25 ($4214.88) and donations of books and periodicals were given by those present

The Chairman of the Town Board (Dr Ginders) lent the new institution the use of the old building and the District Superintendent of Native Schools let them use the desks and forms from the old schoolhouse. A kerosene lamp and a stove were also obtained.

·        Proposals were made to shift the present building from Ohinemutu to Arawa Street or to erect part of the new building. The second option was chosen.
·        Plans were submitted in May and it was nearly completed by October.
·        The AGM took place in the new Victoria Institute on 10 November and the reading room was opened to the public 9 days later.
·        Shelving from the old building was used for the lending section.
·        Miss Emma Coppell (or Coppel) was appointed caretaker and librarian at £10 per annum ($1545.45) Note this is £2 a year less than the cleaner was paid in 1890 and £5 less than the custodian in 1891 

Municipal Building on corner Arawa and Fenton Streets 
·        New Library in Municipal Building was opened on 14 October 1940.
·        The Country Library Service also provided advice regarding layout, staff training, cataloguing and suggested changing the classification system from Bliss to Dewey.
·        The Library officially went free (except for light fiction and magazines) on the 17 February 1941 and Country Library Service provided staff to assist with the changeover and loans of books.
·        There was no policy for expansion for a children’s library – the books were still kept in the old building but were shifted to the new library in February 1941.

·        Opened on 3 August 1970.
·        Throughout the 1970s and 80s there was increased recognition that the Library was not adequate and needed expanding and upgrading.
·        February 1972 the NZ Library Association Conference was held in Rotorua.
·        1973 Miss Lesley Armstrong took over as Librarian.
·        In January 1974 the Library was closed for a week while new carpet was laid. It was very hot and the workmen opened the front doors putting barriers across to keep the public out. Some people climbed over them.
When new carpet was laid in 2003 and 2004, the Library stayed open (except for the area being worked on) and much of the work was done at night.
·        New hours in January 1974 were 10am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and 10 to 8.30 on Friday.

HAUPAPA STREET (old Government building)
·        Officially opened by Governor General Dame Catherine Tizard on 16 December 1991 and opened to the public the following day.
·        Issues in the year following the move to the new building increased by 34%.
·        Lesley Armstrong retired as District Librarian after 21 years in December 1994 and was succeeded by Jane Gilbert (in January 1995).

Pukuatua Street (old Van Dyks)
Opening at our new Temporary Location on 27th July 2016
Come and see it for yourself, you'll be amazed!

Friday, 15 July 2016

What's happening in Rotorua

The Winter Show of days gone by 

In recent times Rotorua has been lucky to enjoy the Rotorua Daily Post Home & Leisure Show at this time of year. In the 1960s, as shown in the Rotorua Photo News, Rotorua celebrated winter in style with a week long show.  

Rotorua has also had an ice skating rink, courtesy of Rotorua Lakes Council and Harcourts, for the Fire and Ice Festival since 2012. Click this link to read all about it : Fire and Ice Festival

Here I've found some photos in the Rotorua Photo News to show you : These Pix are by Michael Burton, Editor of the Photo News c.1963-1966.

Rotorua Photo News, July 31st 1965,  p. 38
Rotorua Photo News, June 4th 1966, p.g. 32-33
If anyone reading this was there, please tell us your memories so we can share Rotorua's rich history of  Community events.  Just email Alison c/-

Friday, 8 July 2016

Book Review : Augustus Koch : map maker

German map maker extraordinaire

Author Rolf W. Brednich has crafted a stunning book about Augustus Koch, artist, designer, draughtsman and cartographer. He reveals what Koch's life as a student in Berlin was like and takes the reader through a fascinating look at his work in the South Seas and  New Zealand and the legacy of drawings and maps from the Hochstetter expedition of 1859 (chapter by Sacha Nolden). His maps are a masterpiece of detail and are very accurate of New Zealand coastlines and interior topography.

Of interest to Rotorua readers are his watercolour sketches of Lake Rotorua, Lake Rotoiti , Lake Tarawera, Mt Tarawera on pages 34 ff. 

Available to borrow now, at 526z KOC in the New Zealand History and Travel section.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

June 1968 from the Rotorua Photo News

A snapshot of Rotorua June 1968

Were you here in 1968? Do the following images resonate with you? Perhaps you are in one of the photographs? If so please email Rotorua District Library with your memories, we would love to hear from you and perhaps share your photographs from this era of Rotorua's  past. Library Email 

From : Rotorua Photo News, No. 57, 8 June 1968, p 67.

The Rotorua Photo News was published from 1963 to 1971 and has some wonderful images of Rotorua and what the community was up to during that period. You may even be in the magazine but your name has not been published if so please let us know.  Our copies of the Photo News are reference only, but if you want to while away a few minutes (or hours) they are a fascinating snapshot of Rotorua's history.  The originals of Jack Lang's photographs are now owned by the Rotorua Museum, so if you find yourself in the magazine, you can request a copy from the Museum, as long as you can quote the exact date and edition of the Photo News.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Iconic Building Rotorua

Hennessy's Irish Bar 

This iconic historic building is currently being demolished. It was built in 1910 for George French a local merchant and was known as French's Building for many years. 

During it's lifetime it has housed a number of other businesses as well as French's own, Hitchen & Johnstone, Drapers, Wool Shop etc. c1936- ; Clarken Ltd. China, Hardware etc. c1936-: A.T. Coates Bookseller to 1943, McLeod's Booksellers c1943- ; Heidi's Cafe & Patisserie c1990s and finally Hennessey's Irish Bar and upstairs Blarneys Rock - Rotorua Backpackers and Accommodation.

Photo by Alison Leigh, Digital Information Librarian, 15/06/2016

Photo by Alison Leigh, Digital Information Librarian, 16/06/2016

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Celebrating Matariki

Rotorua celebrates Matariki

Click this link to see what's on : Mataariki Events Calendar

The main event :

There are also lots of books and websites available that tell the Matariki story : Here are just a few...

Matariki by Melanie Drewery.
Matariki by Sharon Holt.
Matariki: Pacific New Year by Maori Language Commission.
The little Kiwi's Matariki by Nikki Slade Robinson.
Celebrating the southern seasons: rituals for Aotearoa by Juliet Batten.

Friday, 27 May 2016

New Zealand Music Month, Post 3, Sir Howard Morrison

Rotorua Musical Icon

Sir Howard Morrison in his own words : "I'd been singing from the time I was a kid, milking my cows at Ruatahuna, in the bush when I came back on holidays from Te Aute... but this was my introduction to singing in a disciplined way, in public."  

"The Whataraus got me to join the church choir, then the Awapuni Concert Party. And from that, two Whatarau sisters, Isobel and Virginia, and I formed the Clive Trio --- the first popular singing group I was ever involved with." in Howard : the life and times of Sir Howard Morrison p.38

From : Howard : the life and times of Sir Howard Morrison p.39

To read more of this great book come up to the Library's 2nd Floor, Maori Collection, 782.42z MOR

From the Clive Trio to the Howard Morrison Show
in Rotorua Photo News Jul 31, 1965 p.33.
The Rotorua Photo News, published 1963-1971, has many more photographs of Sir Howard and his Quartet.

For more information on Sir Howard click these links to some great sources :

Monday, 16 May 2016

New Zealand Music Month, Post No. 2

Rotorua's Music Heritage 

Ever heard of a local band called "Dizzy Feelings" ? It seems Rotorua was a rockin' place in the 1960s. This band features in The Rotorua Photonews of 6 July 1968 auditioning, along with other Rotorua muso's for a N.Z.B.C. Radio series to be known as "Home Town Sounds '68" 

Were you part of the band? Did you hear them on the radio?  If so we'd love to hear from you!
Email :

And here they are ....

Rotorua Photo News, Photographs by Jack Lang 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

New Zealand Music Month

Celebrating Rotorua Musicians & other musical trivia

Rotorua has a rich history of talented singers and performers due the early tourist trade.  
One such renowned singers were, Ana Hato and her cousin Deane Waretini,  who made 14 records of traditional and contemporary Maori music. She and Deane also produced many recordings for Radio New Zealand. Ana sang at the reception for the Duke and Duchess of York in 1927. Ana also sang at the opening ceremony of Rotorua's first radio station 1YZ in 1949.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

ANZAC 2016, Pt. 3

New Zealand Soldiers who made it home after the War

David Daniel NZ444407 Aircraftsman 1st Class

Read about World War II from Mr Daniel's experiences 

Books published by Mr Daniel 

"Just an erk: the life and times of an aircraftman in the RNZAF 1944-1947"
"Air Force Blues: members reminiscences of service life"

Available to read in the Don Stafford Room of the New Zealand History and Travel section. 

Jack Stafford (John Harry Stafford) DFC, NZ449476 Flight Lieutenant 486 (NZ) Sqaudron

Hear from Jack Stafford as he is interviewed by his brother Don Stafford on DVD, available from the New Zealand History and Travel section, read a memory of Jack's  from David Daniel's book 'Air Force Blues' or sit in the Don Stafford Room and read Jack's fictional story "Son of a Tempest pilot" 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

ANZAC 2016, Pt. 2

For the fallen

To remember the men and women who contributed so much in defence of our country, a display has been put up on the 2nd floor of the library which says ‘Remember.’ It includes the 4th stanza of the poem, ‘For The Fallen’ written by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943). 

Titles available to borrow from the New Zealand History and Travel & Maori Collections at the Library include :

28 (Maori) Battalion / by J. F. Cody
The Penguin book of New Zealanders at War
Hell or high water: New Zealand merchant seafarers remember the war/ by Neill Atkinson
The desert road: New Zealander's remember the North African campaign/ by Megan Hutching

Barce Raid: the Long Range Desert Group's most daring exploit in World War II/ by Brendan O'Carroll
The man with nine lives /by Gabrielle McDonald
Wayfarer and warrior : the Monowai story / by Jack S. Harker.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

ANZAC 2016

We will Remember Them

Rotorua has many memorials to our brave soldiers from several wars which tells those of us who have not lived through those wars just how much they sacrificed for us.  In this current age of internet and social media, stories of war and bombings are current and ongoing in many countries, this has involved New Zealand soldiers on peacekeeping missions and more as the war against terror escalates. 

As ANZAC Day approaches I thought it was time to remember some of Rotorua's Decorated Officers.  The following clip was printed in the New Zealand Herald 14 January 1942.

To read more about Rotorua's contribution to the two World Wars, the Rotorua District Library has copies of James Cowan's 'The Maori's in the Great War', David Daniel's 'Air Force Blues' and Don Stafford's 'The New Century in Rotorua: a history of events from 1900' 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

It's Easter!

Easter is an annual Christian Festival of Remembrance 

The word 'Easter' comes from two old pagan spring festivals. The old European pagan festival of 'Ostara' that celebrated new life and Arabian Sun festival of 'Ishtar'. The early Christians took over the festivals and turned the pagan festivals of new life to mean the new life that Jesus gave the world when he rose from the dead. Unlike Christmas, when Jesus's birth is celebrated (although we don't know what time of year Jesus was born!), Easter is celebrated around the same time of year that he was killed. This is because Jesus died at the time of the Jewish Passover festival.
The Passover festival dates from about 4,000 years ago when Jewish people remember that God saved them from slavery in Egypt. Jesus was a Jew and so celebrated the Passover. Passover takes place in the first month of the Jewish New Year (14-15 of the month of Nisan). The Jewish calendar follows the cycle of the moon, so the date changes a bit every year. 

From :

For a look at some Easter traditions around the world:

Some other ideas for Easter: these books are available to borrow today from Rotorua District Library

641.8653 WHI
746.46 WIK
745.5 SEN
Above all enjoy your family times and be safe this Easter