Matariki Maori New Year

After hosting a successful festival in 2008, Matariki have already started planning next year’s event, so keep an eye out for programme details.
Maori New Year is celebrated nationwide with a host of events spread throughout the region including Art Festival, Celestial navigation tours on the land and sea, Food Festival, etc.

Matariki is celebrated with education, remembrance and the planting of new trees and crops signalling new beginnings. Matariki is also the optimum time for new harvests, and ceremonial offerings to the land-based gods Rongo, Uenuku and Whiro to ensure good crops for the coming year. It was also seen as a perfect time to learn about the land we live on and to remember whakapapa (ancestry) who have passed from this world to the next and the legacy they left behind.

The Celebrations last up to 3 days after the new moon had risen following Matariki becoming visible

Mataraki Activities, New Zealand

Arts activities associated with Matariki…
Special play performances
Street performances
Exhibitions of Maori crafts
Classes showing how to weave, carve etc
Television shows on Matariki history
Musical performances

Celestial Navigators / Astronomers activities associated with Matariki…
Astronomy nights
Waka ceremonies at night during Matariki
Astronomy information packs and activities
Story telling nights based on legends of stars
Dawn sighting event when Matariki appears
Seminars of sailing by the stars
Seminars on Matariki’s importance worldwide

Food and Hospitality activities associated with Matariki…
Certain meals made of traditional foods (month of Matariki)
Matariki dinner celebrating the event
Information added to menus promoting Matariki
New Zealand beer/ wine and food only at Matariki
Hangi nights during Matariki
Signs during Matariki at supermarkets promoting healthy food

Sporting activities associated with Matariki…
High profile Maori sports stars promoting Matariki
Celebrity events
Family sporting days – mixture of sports and traditional activities
Fun run
Sponsored sports days to raise money for local Maori clubs / Marae (Maori meeting place)

information courtesy Northland Travel Guide

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