Matariki is such a special time of the year. Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars that also goes by the name Pleiades.
Rising in mid-winter, Matariki heralds the start of a brand new year for many Māori and is recognised as Aotearoa and the Pacific’s formal New Year. The term Matariki translates literally to ‘eyes of God’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). Matariki appears in all its glory sometime around the shortest day of the year and it is thought to determine how successful the harvest crop will be in the coming season. The brighter the twinkling stars, the more fruitful the crop will be.
In 2018, Matariki began on the 15 June, and in the month of June, there are many wonderful ways you can celebrate Matariki with your family. Let the spirit of this special time guide you as you embrace this new beginning. Here are some ideas you can share with your loved ones to mark Matariki in 2018 and in years to come:
Enjoy a family gathering and feast: this is a great time of the year to explore the intricacies and beauty of the Māori culture – treat yourself to traditional Māori food like hangi and rewena (bread).
Renew your New Year’s resolutions: the start of the Māori New Year is an opportunity to renew your resolutions or devote yourself to new ones. Be guided by ‘He atawhai… ta matou kaupapa matua – Mercy… the business of our lives’. Always remember that we are called to participate in God’s mission and make it visible in the way we live as people who share what we have received. Your resolutions should be centred around this mission.
Attend a Matariki event: there are many dedicated events created to celebrate Matariki. Search online for events that suit you, your friends and your family, or work with your school’s events co-ordinator to plan something special.
Sleep under the stars: what better what to show your respect and appreciation for Matariki and our Lord Jesus Christ than spending a night under His magnificent creation? Gather friends and family to join you and share stories and your hopes and aspirations for the remainder of the year and beyond.