Matariki 28 June 2024
Matariki is the Māori name for a group of stars that are also known as the Pleiades star cluster.
The physical appearance of Matariki in the sky was traditionally used by a tohunga (a priest or expert) as a forecast of the year ahead. Clear and bright stars signalled warm and productive seasons, and hazy or shimmering clusters meant a cold winter was coming and ground for crops was prepared accordingly.
Each iwi has their own stories and perspectives about Matariki and celebrate Matariki at different times. Some hold festivities when Matariki is first seen in the dawn sky; others celebrate after the rise of the full moon or at the beginning of the next new moon.
Matariki takes place in mid-winter from 11-17 July.
In 2022, the Government has created a new public holiday for Aotearoa by passing the Te Ture mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o Te Kāhui o Matariki / Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Act. The second public holiday to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday 14 July 2023.
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