What does Matariki mean?
Māori use the name Matariki to describe the entire cluster of stars known in astronomy as Pleiades. According to a manuscript of Māori astronomical knowledge compiled by Rāwiri Te Kōkau, the genealogy shows Matariki and her eight children as noted below. The different names of the stars in the Matariki group are significant for Māori, as each individual has a defined purpose and is intrinsically connected with Te Ao Māori, the Māori world, as follows:
- Matariki: Signifies reflection, hope and our connection to the environment
- Pōhutukawa: Connects with people who have passed on
- Waitī: Fresh bodies of water and the food within it
- Waitā: The ocean and the food in it
- Waipuna-ā-rangi: Associated with raining
- Tupuānuku: Food that grows within the soil
- Tupuārangi: Food that grows on trees
- Ururangi: Associated with wind
- Hiwa-i-te-rangi: The wishing star that also ties into our aspirations for the coming year
Reference: Matariki The Star of the Year by Rangi Matamua
So how do we celebrate it presently? See below for some ideas, activities and festivals that happen to celebrate Matariki 2019, the Māori New Year!
Matariki ideas (related to each of the Matariki stars):
- Matariki: Sleep Under the Stars – reflect and connect to the environment. You can do this in your backyard!
- Pōhutukawa: Tree Planting – signifying remembrance. Click here to search for Matariki Tree Planting.
- Waitī: Visit your local stream, river or lake - Understand its source and the ecosystem in it.
- Waitā: Mid-winter swim - Connect with Tangaroa, the atua of the sea and fish.
- Waipuna-ā-rangi: Singing in the rain - Blast out your favourite waiata on the next rainy day.
- Tupuānuku: Celebrate with a whanau feast -Whether it’s a hangi or Sunday roast, enjoy the company of family and friends.
- Tupuārangi: Support your kids sport team -Take along some mandarins or orange slices.
- Ururangi: Make your own kite - So you can fly it in to the heavens
- Hiwa-i-te-rangi: Create some New Year’s resolutions