Capture the light to brighten your night

 Matariki is a time to remember our loved ones who have passed away

Did you know that people say you can sometimes see nine of the stars making up the Matariki cluster? These other two stars are not as visible as the seven stars we associate with the story of Matariki and her six daughters. However, in traditional knowledge, these two stars have special significance.

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Tradition holds that Pōhutukawa is the star that keeps all the memories of loved ones who have passed away. It connects us to the past and to our ancestors. It calls upon us to remember and appreciate those who have led the way before us. These loved one were said to have been transformed into stars to watch over us.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi is the star to make a wish upon!  It is the youngest of the Matariki family and encourages us to hope, dream and plan for the new year ahead.

Both stars are considered sacred and sit apart from the stars associated with food such as Tupu-a-rāngi.

The two meanings of Matariki both refer to stars: mata ariki (eyes of god) and mata riki (little eyes). For the origin of the ‘little eyes’ meaning watch this video: The Eyes of the God Tāwhirimātea