The actual date of Otago Anniversary Day is 23 March, but the public holiday is celebrated on the closest Monday.
On 23 March 1848 the 'John Wickliffe', the first of two sailing ships chartered by the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland to bring settlers to Otago landed at Koputai (Port Chalmers).
Otago Province was created in 1852, named after an old Māori word meaning 'isolated village'. The province was abolished in 1876.
Otago is the second most southerly region of New Zealand and the fourth largest region. Dunedin is the only city in the region.
The Holidays Act 1981 specifies each locality observing a Provincial Anniversary Day to celebrate the founding days or landing days of the first colonists of the various colonial provinces.
However the exact dates are not legislated for. The actual observance days can vary even within each province and is due to local custom, convenience or the proximity of seasonal events or other holidays. This may differ from the official observance day, and may be several weeks from the official day.