Visit our education blog during the Holiday Programme week, as we share some of our activities with you. We’ll also explore different aspects of Matariki and what it meant traditionally.
Matariki is both the name of the star cluster and of the season of its first rising, which marks the Māori New Year sometime in June or July each year. Did you know there are actually 1000’s of stars that make up the Matariki cluster in the constellation of Taurus but we can only see 7 stars with the naked eye; it is these that are known as Matariki and also as Pleiades, the Seven Sisters or Subaru. Many Matariki traditions are still practiced and today we celebrate in many ways. Not all iwi (tribes) celebrate at the same time or in the same way. Some may start festivities on the first full moon after the star cluster rises, or on the next new moon. Most celebrations focus around family, food, music, dance, games, storytelling, art and craft, planting of trees and food crops.