All I want for Christmas is … Te Papa’s Hosts present some of this season’s art works in their very own Ngā Toi Christmas wish list! The current season of Ngā Toi has a great variety of artworks, from 300-hundred-year-old dresses and beloved iconic New Zealand paintings to a musicalRead more

Are you getting out and about these Christmas holidays? Then we’ve got the ideal FREE gift for you – the eFloraNZ chapter on the scaly tree ferns. eFloraNZ chapter for Cyathea, the scaly tree ferns. (pdf, 13 MB.) You’ll find scaly tree ferns almost everywhere in New Zealand where thereRead more

Princess Mary's gift box 1914

The war that erupted in Europe in August 1914 was supposed to over by Christmas that year. This confident view did not stop Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V (he appears on the poster below) and Queen Mary, from initiating a scheme to distribute Christmas gifts to theRead more

Not everyone loves traditional Christmas cake, but what’s not to love about these cute Christmas cake decorations? These miniature Santas are part of a collection of cake decorations associated with the Wellington bakery and coffee house Konditorei Aida. They would be more at home on a white iced, firm richRead more

Christmas trees, carol singing, Christmas stockings – many Northern Hemisphere Christmas traditions have been brought to New Zealand. One that we haven’t ’embraced’ is kissing under the mistletoe. I wonder why not? Is it because of our reserved kiwi natures or is it our mistletoes…….? There are around 1300 species ofRead more

Seasonal Treasures from Te Papa In global terms, Aotearoa New Zealand is not a religiously observant nation. But we have long taken pride in being a tolerant one. Many of us thoroughly enjoy our Santa parades, carol services and, among cultural enthusiasts, full-on performances of Handel’s Messiah. It is difficultRead more

Christmas marks that another year has just about gone. Another year of change, doubt, joy, laughter and sorrow. Another year that those who have passed don’t know about. If I made a Christmas card from a photograph in the collection I would probably choose the image above. The photograph, takenRead more

I’ve enjoyed searching through Te Papa’s collections to find items related to Christmas for this year’s advent calendar. Advent calendars developed from a 19th century German Lutheran tradition of counting down the 24 days before Christmas. An advent calendar has 24 doors that you open each day from 1 DecemberRead more