Celebrate Matariki

31 May 2010

In Piripi / June each year, when the star cluster Matariki (also known as Pleiades) appears in our dawn skies, it is the signal for the Maori New Year to begin.

Celebrating Matariki in song

Celebrating Matariki in song

It begins with a dawn karakia (prayer) marking the sighting of the first appearance of Matariki. This year it will happen on Rāhina 14 Piripi (Monday 14 June) and continue until Rāapa 14 Hōngongoi (Wednesday 14 July).

Traditionally Matariki marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the planting season. Today, Matariki means celebrating and giving respect to the land, sea and sky. It is a time to consider the year ahead, make plans to improve our lives and enhance our communities.

Matariki is a chance to come together, share knowledge and skills and learn about the land we live on - and to remember our whakapapa (ancestors) and the legacy they passed on.

Matariki has two meanings, both referring to a tiny constellation of stars; Mata Riki (tiny eyes) and Mata Ariki (eyes of God).

Carter Observatory, Te Papa, the City Gallery and the Council are just a few of the organisations who have organised a number of exciting events and activities happening around the city to celebrate Matariki.

Find out how you can get involved - see the Featured Event section of this website.