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Matariki

Matariki is a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality and history.

Matariki the Maori New Year, is rich with tradition.

Discover the importance of Matariki, and explore ways that you can celebrate the Maori New Year. Download the Matariki Comprehension Activity and then use the resources below to answer the questions.

Matariki is officially celebrated on 25 June 2019.

Matariki Resources

When is Matariki?

Over the years Matariki has been celebrated at different times. Some tribes celebrated Matariki when the stars rises in May/June. For others, it was celebrated at the first new moon, or full moon, following the rising of Matariki. Today we celebrate Maori New Year with the first new moon following the rising of Matariki. In…

What is Matariki?

Matariki is a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality and history. Matariki occured at the end of the harvest season. It was a time when storage houses (pātaka kai) were filled with food, and the land was at its most unproductive. The cultivated kūmara (sweet potato) had been gathered and stored in specially prepared pits…

What does Matariki mean?

The word Matariki has two different meanings.  Both meaning refer to a tiny constellation of stars. Mata Riki means Tiny Eyes and Mata Ariki means Eyes of God.

Matariki Celebrations

Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, in the Taurus constellation. In New Zealand it comes into view low on the north-eastern horizon, appearing in the tail of the Milky Way in the last days of May or in early June, just…

Matariki – Should it be a holiday?

Have you learnt about Matariki at school lately? Matariki, the group of seven stars known as the Pleiades star cluster. Matariki appears annually and is believed to mark the beginning of the Maori New Year. The beginning of an entirely new year for the native people of New Zealand! So why is this important and…

How is Matariki celebrated?

Matariki is celebrated in a variety of ways. This important event in New Zealand is becoming more popular with schools, community organisations and local councils.  Because Matariki was the optimum time for new harvests, often plants or new trees are planted within communities. Matariki is also seen as a perfect time to learn about the land we…

How do I find Matariki?

Matariki can be seen just before dawn around the winter solstice. We have some detailed instructions at the bottom of the page or you can watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3ETD3rPnFQ The best place to see it is on a slightly elevated position.  Follow these steps and see if you can find Matariki. 1. If you are…