The History and Meaning of Matariki

The History and Meaning of Matariki

Emma Jackson

Posted on 17/05/2024

Matariki is a special occasion in New Zealand that typically falls in June, and marks the beginning of the Māori New Year. 

What is Matariki?

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars that typically appear in the sky in mid-winter. This cluster of stars is also known as the Pleiades. The appearance of this cluster of the stars marks the beginning of the Māori New Year. This occasion is celebrated by Iwi across the country in different ways and at different times. 

Matariki is a shortened version of Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea, which means ‘the eyes of the god Tāwhirimātea. This tells the story of how the cluster of stars in the sky came to be. According to Māori legend and tradition, the god of wind, Tāwhirimātea, was furious when his siblings separated their parents, Ranginui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother. He was so angry that he pulled out his eyes and tossed them into the sky. 

How is Matariki Celebrated?

Matariki is celebrated in various ways. Many Māori take Matariki as a time to honour those who have passed, and to release their spirits to the stars. It is also a great time to be thankful for great food and meals with loved ones. 

The celebrations of Matariki were recently made a public holiday, which is to be held on a Friday of June or July each year. Thousands of people celebrate and honour this special occasion and the public holiday serves as a time to spend quality time with family and friends and enjoy a great meal. 

Be sure to jump on PriceMe for all your kitchen needs this Matariki

If you are celebrating Matariki with loved ones over a tasty meal, and need some kitchenware items, be sure to jump on PriceMe. We have the scoop on the best prices for all kinds of kitchen appliances such as air fryers, soda makers, breadmakers, blenders, coffee machines and more. 

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