Matariki (Maori New Year)

History of Matariki

The rising of the star constellation known as Matariki is an important time in the Māori calendar. It heralds in the Māori New Year, which is a time to connect with, and give thanks to the land, sea and sky.

It is also a time for the community to come together and acknowledge the year gone by, as well as, to celebrate and prepare for the year ahead. This involves the sharing of kai (food), rituals, entertainment, hospitality and knowledge.

Historically, the star cluster was a navigational aid for Māori and an indicator of the coming seasons. If the stars were clear, it was a sign that the year ahead would be warm and productive.