A Celebration to signify the start of the Māori New Year.
The reappearance of the Matariki stars in the winter skies, signal the beginning of the Māori New Year.
Astronomy was intertwined into all aspects of Māori life, experts would observe the night sky, charting the star and planet movements. As well as the relationship of the stars and planets to the moon and the sun. They would also take note of what was happening on the Whenua (land), Moana (ocean), lakes and awa (rivers).
Each of the seven stars were appointed qualities and names accordingly, their stories being passed down through generations to come.
Historically, New Year celebrations provided the opportunity for whānau to come together and acknowledge the year gone and prepare for the year ahead.
How to see the Matariki star cluster yourself.
From early June, an hour or two before the sunrise, look to the north-east horizon. Search for the constellation Tautoru or Orion’s belt (sometimes called ‘The Pot’). Follow the three stars north of Tautoru and look for the faint sparkle of tiny stars around about the same width as Tautoru. This is where you should see the Matariki cluster.
Matariki Festival 2021
Modern celebrations involve whānau coming together to reflect and celebrate on the previous year. This is the perfect time of year to try a hearty and warming hāngi to bring Whānau together to share stories, laughter and thanks.
There are several events and activities being held from Saturday the 19th of June till Sunday the 11th of July in celebration of Matariki. Visit https://www.matarikifestival.org.nz/ for more information on what events are happening in your community!
Must see events to celebrate Matariki
Reflection - Ngā Mata o te Ariki
Tuhirangi Blair has collaborated with Angus Muir to create a large scale memorizing light installation representing specific stars from the Matariki cluster, expressed through light, colour and movement.
Date: 2nd July - 10th July Location: Market Square, Viaduct Harbour
Vaka To A Billion Stars
One Billion stars is a global weaving movement working together with communities around the world to help end all forms of violence, especially violence against women. Take part in the free workshop where you can learn how to weave your own star and see an installation of over 300,000 woven stars by Samoan weaver Maryann Talia Pau.
Date: From Sunday 27th June Location: Silo Park Auckland, Silo 6
Puanga Matariki Hakari - New Years Feast at Ahi
This special dining experience is not one to miss! Chef Ben Bayly and his longtime friend Hāngi master Rewi Spraggon invite you to experience unique New Zealand cuisine like you've never had before.
Date: 3rd July 12:00PM - 3:00PM Location: Ahi - Commercial Bay (Bookings required)