Matariki is the traditional Māori New Year


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related: astronomy, māori, new zealand
editing: Matariki

Matariki is a distinctly New Zealand tradition.

Matariki is the Māori name for the stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster in the constellation Taurus. Celebrations begin on the day of the first new moon following the rising of the star cluster.

In 2018 the Matariki star cluster rises in New Zealand skies on June 15, beginning a month of celebration.

Some History

Celebrations were once even more popular but stopped in the 1940s. In 2000, festivities were revived with only a few people took part at first. Soon thousands were once again acknowledging the Māori New Year. In 2001 the Māori Language Commission began a move to reclaim Matariki as an important focus to promote the Maori language.

FYI: kites are traditionally flown on the first day of the new year.

In Auckland, the Matariki Festival Dawn Karakia blessing takes place at the summit of Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill). Flares are fired from seven volcanic cones, signifying the seven stars of Matariki. Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill), Takarunga (Mt Victoria), Te Kopuke (Mt St John), Maungarei (Mt Wellintgon), Te Rangi-i-Tongia-a-Tamatekapua (Rangitoto), Maungawhau (Mt Eden) and Owairaka (Mt Albert). -

In Otago Puaka Matariki

Bay of Plenty



FYI - The Pleiades is honored in many Indigenous cultures and known by many names, including Wicincala Sakowin for the Lakota/Dakota.

Recommended Listening

Matariki festival begins - Matariki celebrations begin around the country today - it's a celebration that is growing in popularity. Matariki is the Maori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades - the constellation rises in late May or early June.
Charles Royal of Te Papa is the head of the Matariki Festival Programme
1:20 Why has it caught on?
02:45 Connection with the natural world
10:10 Kapa Haka Classics
11:00 Fragments of our story

Smart Talk: Matariki - The place of Matariki and its traditions in today's culture is discussed by Haare Williams, Director of Māori Partnerships at Auckland Museum; the musician Whirimako Black; the composer and researcher Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal; and historian, storyteller and orator Pita Turei. Kirk Torrance is in the chair.

Welcoming the Māori new year

Things you can do
Celebrate Matariki with some delicious Māori food (kai)
Learn some Māori language


matariki - Google News

Elsewhere on the Web

Matariki Festival - @matarikiwaikato
The Matariki Collection - NZ Onscreen
Matariki facts and figures
Governor-General's 2011 Matariki Message
How Matariki was formed - Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Matariki, Maori New Year - Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Carving of Ururangi, Tauranga
Ron's Matariki Blog (2010)
Matarikiwaihi Wiki
Matariki: a growing tradition - Te Taurawhiri it te Reo Māori
Matariki at NZ On Screen
Matariki at Te Papa
Matariki - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Māori New Year on Te Ara Encylcopedia of New Zealand
Matariki - Christchurch City Libraries
Matariki facts & figures - Korero Māori (PDF) - @dalnzl




Matariki - Google News


Hashtag: #matariki

In the future ...

2018 - June 15
2019 - June 10
2020 - June 22



Takina mai ra ko nga hui o Matariki Puanga tautoru Ka ngaro atutahi ma e karewa te tini o te wheturiki.
Matariki is the cluster of stars, Puanga is Orion, Tautoru is Orions belt, Atutahi is Conopus, Karewa is the brightest star in the sky.


Artwork / Cue Yourself

Buzzword Bingo: Matariki


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