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Welcome the Maori New Year with Matariki - a star-filled celebration of renewal, remembrance, and connection all under the southern skies.
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June 28
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New Zealand
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Get ready to gaze at the stars as we welcome the Maori New Year with Matariki on June 28! Matariki is a centuries-old Maori celebration that marks the rising of the Pleiades star cluster in the mid-winter skies of New Zealand. This star-studded event, also known as the Maori New Year, is a unique blend of astronomy, mythology, and culture. It's an exciting occasion to learn about the rich history and traditions of the Maori people, and renew our connections with the environment and each other. So let's embark on this celestial journey as we delve into the fascinating world of Matariki under the southern skies!

History of Matariki

Matariki Dates

Matariki Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Pre-1800s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Origins of Matariki</div><div class='timeline-text'>Matariki has been observed by Maori and Pacific cultures since pre-European times, dedicated to the Pleiades star cluster typically appearing in mid-Winter.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1800s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Missionary Influence</div><div class='timeline-text'>With European settlement and the influence of Christian missionaries, Matariki celebrations dwindled through the 19th century.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1930s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Matariki Documented</div><div class='timeline-text'>Early documentation of Matariki traditions by ethnographers and Maori scholars helped preserve knowledge about the holiday during a period of cultural assimilation.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2000</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Revival of Matariki</div><div class='timeline-text'>Te Papa museum in Wellington holds one of the first public Matariki events in the new millennium, beginning a revival of the holiday.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2004</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Astronomical Guide</div><div class='timeline-text'>Dr Rangi Matamua publishes a guide about the astronomical aspects of Matariki, helping popularize and formalize celebration of the holiday.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2022</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Public Holiday in NZ</div><div class='timeline-text'>The New Zealand government declares Matariki a public holiday, with the first observation set to take place in 2022.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Matariki

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Create a Matariki kite</h3><p class='facts-text'>Getting crafty is a fun way to celebrate Matariki. The Maori tradition includes the activity of kite-making, as kites are seen as connectors between the heavens and earth. Spend the day making your own kite and launch it in celebration of the New Year.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Cook a traditional Maori meal</h3><p class='facts-text'>In line with the spirit of sustenance during Matariki, prepare a traditional Maori meal. This could include dishes such as Hangi, a method of cooking underground with hot stones, or Rewena bread, a traditional Maori sourdough bread.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Hold a Matariki storytelling session</h3><p class='facts-text'>Matariki is a great time for storytelling, especially revolving around Maori myths and legends. Gather friends and family around a fire or under the stars to share stories that highlight the history and traditions of the Maori people.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Stargaze</h3><p class='facts-text'>The Pleiades star cluster is central to the celebration of Matariki. Venture outdoors in the late evening and spend some time stargazing to witness the cluster's brilliance. Utilize a star chart or stargazing app to help locate it in the night sky.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Plant a tree</h3><p class='facts-text'>The Maori New Year also signifies the start of the new planting season. Celebrate your connection with the environment by planting a tree or starting a garden. It's a beautiful way to honor Matariki and respect the earth our ancestors lived on.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Matariki

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Connection to the Environment</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Celebrating Matariki invites us to reconnect with our environment and become more aware of the natural world around us. From stargazing to tree planting, these activities promote stewardship of our planet, reminding us how integrally we are connected to nature.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Learning about Maori Culture</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Matariki provides an enriching opportunity to learn more about the Maori culture and its traditions. From kite-making to cooking traditional meals, celebrating Matariki helps us appreciate the rich heritage, values, and stories of the Maori people.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Honoring the Cycle of Life</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Matariki is a time for honoring life, remembering ancestors, and preparing for the new year. Through activities like storytelling and reflection, Matariki encourages us to honor our past, celebrate the present, and look forward in hope and anticipation to the future. It is a celebration of renewal, remembrance, and connection under the southern skies.</p></div></div>

5 Stellar Facts about the Matariki Celebration

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Matariki Means "Eyes of God"</h3><p class='facts-content'>The term Matariki is derived from the Maori words "mata riki" which translates to "tiny eyes" or "mata Ariki" meaning "eyes of God". This name was inspired by a Maori legend involving the god of the wind, Tawhirimatea.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Each Star in Matariki Represents a Different Aspect of Life</h3><p class='facts-content'>There are nine stars in the Matariki constellation with each star representing a different aspect of life. These include aspects such as war, peace, food gathering, and weaving.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Matariki is Also Known as the Maori New Year</h3><p class='facts-content'>The celebration of Matariki is also seen as marking the start of the Maori New Year. It’s seen as a time of renewal and a perfect occasion for families to gather.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Observation of Matariki Involves Acknowledging Ancestors</h3><p class='facts-content'>For Maoris, this is a time to remember those who have passed on to the realm of the stars, and to maintain the spiritual bond between the living and their departed loved ones.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Traditional Music Forms an Integral Part of Matariki Celebrations</h3><p class='facts-content'>Traditional Maori music, particularly singing and instruments like the putorino (a type of flute), are important components in the celebration of Matariki. These harmonious sounds add an authentic touch to the festival.</p></div></div>

Matariki FAQs

Matariki Dates







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