Matariki – the many stories of the Maori New Year

Tēnā ngā kanohi kua tīkona e Matariki

Matariki will keep you awake

About MatarikiThe constellation of Matariki rises in the dawn sky on Saturday 28th Piripi (June).  To see this return you will need to up before the sun rises, at the beach and looking slightly northeast.

Māori New Year, which is heralded by Matariki gracing our skies again, is a time of celebration and rememberance. There is no better time than as the winter solstice comes around to gather together and do some celebrating and remembering with the ones you love.

Matariki events

IMG_4675There are some Matariki events that you could add to your list of celebrations and new things happening in the library this month. They are free of charge:

A Tane me ngā Whetu – Tane and the Stars

Join us at Upper Riccarton Library on Wednesday 25th June from 6.15 – 7.30pm for stories around Matariki. Come with the tamariki or just yourself, dress code PJs and blankie.

Te Kura Takurua – Winter Seminar Series

Joseph Hullen will be at Linwood Library (upstairs at Eastgate Mall) on Thursday 26th June from 6.00 – 7.50pm and talking about “The Sharing of Rongoā” traditional Māori healing with a focus on Te Taiao (the environment).

Whānau Fun Day at Rehua Marae 

Join the library and much more at Rehua Marae, 79 Springfield Road, St Albans on Saturday 28th June 10am-4pm.

More Matariki ideas

A time for planning the year ahead : for kai/food and the planting of crops, winter is a great time to be getting your planting and mahi/work schedule sorted. Aiming to do something this next year that you have never done before? Now is a good time to really get yourself committed.

A time for reflection and celebrating the world around us: – have you made contact with whānau and friends that you have not seen or heard from for a while? Break the ice and send a Matariki postcard available from your local library. Better still get the whole whānau to write a family postcard (or 6!)

Learn something new: While you are flicking through the winter’s TV offerings wondering how better to spend your evenings as the weather and darkness desends – try a new craft/hobby; learn Te Reo Māori, teach your tamariki/mokopuna some good old fashioned games or come up with a whānau winter ritual.

Have a Matariki feast – get to know your neighbours, invite the whānau and your friends to celebrate Matariki. Theme your hākari around winter, stars, stories, favourate whānau food through the generations (that may be enlightening). A simple afternoon tea with warming hot chocolate and star shaped biscuits is manageable for most of us.

Light up your whare – do not be shy – those fairy lights that glisten and twinkle just like the constellation of Matariki look their very best in the cold dark of winter nights.

Whaka-whānaungātanga and Manaaki – two beautiful Te Reo Māori words that encompass the feelings and actions around caring for others, welcoming, sharing, hospitality, and the building of relationships to assist with a sense of belonging and togetherness. Have you experienced Manaakitanga or whānaungātanga?

Kōrero Paki – telling stories – invite friends and whānau to have a story themed event whereby everyone has the oppurtunity to share a story that the rest of the whānau may not know or a favourite of course. A great way to keep oral traditions healthy and family ‘grapevines’ going.

Learn about Matariki, Te Ao Māori and Tātai Arorangi (Māori Astronomy)  Take the time to go beyond the seven star constellation and learn about Māori cosmology and see how it differs or is similar to other cultures.

Cover of Tatai ArorangiRead Work of the Gods by Kay Leather and Richard Hall  explores Tātai Arorangi,  Māori Astronomy and star lore. There are some great stories to share in this little gem of a book.

Explore our resources

So, what are you doing for Matariki? Is Matariki keeping you awake?  Let us know.