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  • Writer's pictureJena Petrie

Celebrating Matariki in New Zealand

Matariki is the name of the Maori New Year, and this year, it began on Friday 2nd July. This is a two-week celebration that changes date every year depending on the position of the star cluster known to most of us as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters (shown in the photo below). According to Maori legend, this star cluster represents a mother - Matariki, and her 8 children who each represent something essential to the people. These are - the fresh water in lakes and rivers and the fish that live there, the sea and the food it provides, the rain that helps crops grow, gardens for their food, the harvest, the wind that blew the first Maori people across the sea to this country (now known to them as Aotearoa), those we have lost, and another star for wishes.

How do Maori celebrate Matariki? Three ways - with food, fire, and whanau (far-know) (the extended family).

I hope you enjoy whatever celebrations are on in your country. July 4th, perhaps?

Until next time,


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