Happy Matariki everyone (17th June)

Matariki (the Pleiades)This Maori celebration is growing and growing in popularity and in particular the number and size of events being organised around the country. I can imagine a New Zealand where Matariki is the number one New Zealand-only celebration suprassing ANZAC Day (big call, I know).

The proof will come when the ex-pats in London start to celebrate it

So, Happy Matariki everyone!
Actual date this year is 17th June

For those in Wellington Te Papa once again has a large series of Matariki celebrations and events - check them all out (16th June - 1st July) - but these caught my eye:

Need more Matariki info - just for you:
Source: Matariki.net.nz (Maori Language Commission)
Matariki is a small but distinctive star cluster whose appearance in the north eastern pre-dawn sky in late May, early June marks the start of a new phase of life.

Although there are tribal differences regarding the timing, celebrations most often begin at the next new moon after Matariki has risen. As with similar ‘moveable feasts’ in the western calendar, such as Easter, the exact timing varies from year to year but usually occurs during the month of June.

In ancient times Matariki arrived at the end of the harvest and was therefore a time of plenty for our ancestors. The kumara and other root foods had been gathered. The migration of fish such as moki and korokoro also made Matariki a time of bountiful catches. Visitors were often showered with gifts of specially preserved eel, birds and other delicacies. Matariki was a time to share and present offerings to others.

Matariki can be translated in two ways – Mata Riki (Tiny eyes) and Mata Ariki (Eyes of God). Either way the eyes are thought to watch over the land and its people.

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