Today (April 25th) marks one of the few public holidays here in New Zealand – ANZAC Day. Standing for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, ANZAC Day commemorates and remembers those that gave their lives in military service for their country – identical to Remembrance Day in Canada, including the wearing of the poppy.
It was originally created as a remembrance of those lost at Gallipoli, a major battle in World War 1 that saw the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps enter a pitched landing and battle, resulting in heavy casualties. The day of that landing was April 25th, 1915.
Being a public holiday, the shops are closed for the morning to allow ceremonies to be held and observed. Things don’t seem quite as high profile or easily seen as in Canada (I haven’t seen too many poppies), but the ceremonies are apparently well attended here in New Zealand.