What is Matariki?Matariki is the Maori name for the Pleiades, a cluster of stars that can viewed from anywhere in the world. The rise of the Matariki constellation is an important time in the Maori calender, as it signifies the New Year, and a signal for plantation of crops.
Why is it important?The Matariki celebrations were held from pre-European settlement right into the 1940's, then reducing in popularity until the dawn of the 21st century where celebrations have been revived and have become a special time of celebration. Matariki was thought to determine the crops for the next season therefore it was important to embrace the New Year to ensure a good crop for the next season.
How is Matariki celebrated?Historically New Year celebrations provided opportunities for community to come together and acknowledge the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead. This often included the gathering of whanau (family), sharing of kai (food), korero, traditional rituals and entertainment. Nowadays celebrations of the Matariki are often extended with a series of festivals, exhibitions and workshops.
Some of the workshops we have done for the festival have inlcuded: