Matariki – The Māori New Year

This year we will have a holiday on the 24th of June. That will be the first time that Matariki will be celebrated officially as a public holiday in New Zealand!

Here are a couple of things I have been learning over the past few weeks from a book* I bought, an activity at work and a couple of hours with a lovely Māori couple at the Te Tau Moana Marae in Devonport:

  • Matariki is a lot to do with astronomy but the spiritual component is equally there. ”Māori astronomy experts would observe the sky from sunset to sunrise, noting the appearance of the stars, and deducing meaning from their position, colour, movement and brightness”
  • Matariki has been honoured in Māori Culture as a time of togetherness, unity and goodwill. They also remember their ancestors.
  • Matariki is more commonly known throughout the world as Pleiades – a small group of stars clustered closely together.
  • The Nine stars of Matariki: Matariki herself, Pōhutukawa, Waiti, Waitā, Waipuna-ā-rangi, Tupuānuku,Tupuārangi,Ururangi, Hiwiterangi/Hiwa.

The one that has more meaning for me so far is Electra (Waipuna-ā-rangi). This star is associated with life-giving rain in all forms and the healthy cycle of the earth due to the waters from the sky. I am not associating this to water itself, but the abundance we have in life and how we all can give and receive to others is a healthy, respectful and lovely way.

The book: Matariki, The Star od the Year – Rangi Matamua

More Reference: – The Nine Stars of Matariki

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