What is Matariki?

“Matariki rere ki pae mahara”

– Matariki a time to remember and reflect.

Matariki is commonly known as the Māori New Year and is marked by the rising of the cluster of stars named Pleiades or Matariki according to Maaori.

There are many significant Matariki stories, locally she is known as the daughter of Papatuanuku and Raumati. The new year begins on the first moon at dawn after the rising of Te Matariki. Celebrations begin in Kirikiriroa on the 16th June. On this day in 1906 King Koroki was born and a great celestial waka appeared in the sky, Te Matariki and her six daughters form the bow of the waka and other constellation created the rest, this was known as Te Rā o Tainui.

Other rohe interpret as Mata Riki (Tiny Eyes) and Mata Ariki (Eyes of God). The other names of the various stars in the cluster are; Waipuna-ā-rangi, Uru-ā-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Tupu-ā-rangi, Tupu-ā-nuku and the rangatira Matariki.

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This special season signified harvesting of crops and planting of new ones, a time of reflection, honouring and acknowledging loved ones, and preparation for the future and a time for learning and preservation of traditional knowledge, language, customs, culture and history.

In recent times the celebration of Matariki has gained popularity amongst mainstream Aotearoa and is now widely celebrated across the country.

Matariki represents many things but more importantly it is a festive time, a celebration of people and the rich cultural fabric of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Key organisations from throughout Hamilton City have come together to offer a full and dynamic calendar throughout the Matariki season that all the whānau can enjoy.

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Images: Matariki in the City 2014 – Mareikura Creations and Hamilton City Libraries

Youtube clip from Matarikievents.com