Matariki – A Celebration in New Zealand/Aotearoa
During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world.
We give respect to the whenua on which we live,
and admiration to our mother earth Papatūānuku.
Throughout Matariki we learn about those who came before us.
Our history. Our family. Our bones.
Matariki signals growth.
It’s a time of change.
It’s a time to prepare, and a time of action.
During Matariki we acknowledge what we have
and what we have to give.
Matariki celebrates the diversity of life.
It’s a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.
Matariki is our
Aotearoa Pacific New Year.
I te wā o Matariki, ka whakanui tātou i tō tātou mana motuhake i tēnei ao.
He manaaki i te whenua e noho nei tātou i runga, he mïharo ki tō tātou whaea,
ki a Papatūānuku.
I te roanga atu o Matariki, ka ako tātou i ngā āhuatanga ō rātou mā
kua hoki ki te kāinga tūturu.
Ko ngā mahi me ngā kōrero o mua. Ko ō tātou heke. Ko ō tātou wheinga.
Ko Matariki te tohu o te tupu.
He wā e puta kē ai.
He wā whakariterite, he wā kōkiri kaupapa.
I te wā o Matariki, he mahara atawhai ki ngā taonga kei a tātou inaianei,
hei koha atu hoki a taihoa.
He whakanui a Matariki i ngā tini ähuatanga o te oranga.
He whakanui hoki i te tikanga, i te reo, i te wairua me te iwi.
Ko Matariki tō Aotearoa tau hou.
(Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori)
What is Matariki?
Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or the Seven Sisters and what is referred to as the traditional Maori New Year. The Maori New Year is marked by the rise of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the New Year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June. Matariki events occur throughout New Zealand and the timing of the events varies depending on Iwi and geographical differences.
Some Iwi recognize and celebrate a different cluster of stars called Puanga or Puaka. Matariki, Puanga or Puaka are generally celebrated during the months of June and July. Common principles apply to all celebrations whether they are Matariki, Puanga or Puaka. The duration of events and activities varies from a few hours to two months.
The clusters of stars that signal the New Year and celebrations for Maori are also observed and celebrated widely throughout the Pacific. There are opportunities further down the track to align Pacific celebrations and festivals.
The Pleiades are also observed and celebrated throughout the world as they relate to important cultural and mythological events that celebrate concepts and activities related to unity, gatherings, harvesting and planting, paying tributes to ancestors and looking ahead to the future. Over centuries the Pleiades have been celebrated by the Greeks, Japanese, Chinese, Vikings, Africans, American Indians, Australian aborigines and throughout the Pacific.
New Zealand culture and heritage is core to Matariki events. While the Matariki events and celebrations are primarily kaupapa Maori driven, they are inclusive of all communities throughout Aotearoa. There are strong signs now that Matariki is playing a key role in building a better understanding between cultures, particularly the Maori and pakeha cultures. As one Matariki coordinator mentioned “Matariki is an easily accessible entry point for pakeha and other non-Maori to celebrate and understand our culture”.
Visit Matariki 2011