Matariki, Māori New Year takes place 25 – 29 June. It’s a time to celebrate new life and new beginnings, remember those who’ve passed and to plan for the future. It is a time to spend with whānau and friends, and enjoy kai (food), waiata (song), tākaro (games) and haka.
Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars that rises around mid-winter. It is when crops were harvested and seafood, birds and crops were preserved for winter.
There are a number of community events taking place during Matariki, see what’s on in Christchurch here>
In August last year UC announced that the old Registry building would be renamed Matariki which was specially gifted to UC by Ngāi Tahu.
Matariki is both the name of a small distinctive star cluster (Pleiades) and the season of its first rising in late May or early June, and is seen as the beginning of the New Year. In traditional times, Matariki was a season to celebrate and to prepare the ground for the coming year.
The Christchurch City Council recognises the cultural significance of Matariki. “It’s a time of change, a time to prepare and a time of action. During Matariki we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give. Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It’s a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.”
This year, today marks the beginning of the Matariki season. For more information and a guide to help you locate the Matariki star cluster click here.
There is a free Matariki celebration this Sunday at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens from 11am-3pm.