Make the most of Matariki
Celebrate the Māori New Year, better known as Matariki. New Year celebrations look different around the world, here in New Zealand, Matariki is an opportunity to educate and celebrate. Learn more about Matariki, its significance, and how you can celebrate at home.
What is Matariki?
The Māori New Year revolves around the rise of Mataraki, a cluster of 9 female and male stars. The full name of Matariki is Ngā Mata o te Ariki o Tāwhirimātea meaning the eyes of Tāwhirimātea, god of the wind. Each star represents a sign for a different realm of the natural environment. Matariki is a time for reflection and respect, for friends, family, and the land.
Traditionally, Matariki was an opportunity for festivities, as it followed the harvest of crops. Many used Matariki as an indicator of the success or failure of the upcoming harvest. If the stars are bright and clear, it promises a warm and successful season. However, hazy stars would bring a cooler climate, which wouldn’t benefit crops.
How can I celebrate Matariki?
Your Springfree Trampoline is the perfect spot for stargazing. If the sky is clear, get your family and friends together, grab some blankets, and wrap up warm, then set yourself up on your Springfree Trampoline.
Matariki is found low on the horizon in the north east of the sky and the best time to look is between 5.30am and 6.30am.
To find Matariki:
- Find the pot in the sky
- Look to the left of the pot, and you will see a bright orange star.
- Go further left. You should then see a cluster of stars – this is Matariki.
Have some fun
Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand, has created an activity book for kids to learn about Matariki while also having some fun!
Download your copy in either English or te reo Māori here.
Matariki is all about bringing family and friends together so why not bake some star-shaped biscuits as a family and share them with friends?
Or you could do some arts and crafts and make your own stars (a great wet-weather alternative!). Christchurch City Libraries has a step-by-step guide to make your own star out of cardboard and yarn. Check out the video here.