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Matariki with Monty

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Coming up in June Monty will be celebrating Matariki. So we thought we would help him explore a bit about what Matariki is and the history behind it.

Here’s Monty’s essential Matariki facts:

  • Matariki is the Maori New Year.
  • While Matariki has been celebrated at different times over the years, especially for different tribes, in the 21st century it is now based on the new moon following the rising of Matariki. This means Matariki for 2017 begins on 25 June.
  • Matariki actually refers to a star cluster called Pleiades.
  • Translated Matariki can either mean “Tiny Eyes” or “Eyes of God”.
  • You can actually find the Pleiades star cluster in the night sky – search it on YouTube for what to look for and when, as it can be a little tricky sometimes!
  • Given Matariki occurred at the end of the harvest season it was generally a time to stock up on food, gather together to get through the winter months and prepare the land for spring.

If you’re keen to get involved and celebrate Matariki, check out what’s on here.

You can also learn a whole lot more about Matariki, just as we did, by heading to the Ministry for Culture and Change website or by checking out this booklet from the Maori Language Commission.  

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