matariki clustermicNau Mai, Haere Mai, welcome to the website where you can find out more about Matariki or Māori New Year and a host of exciting Matariki events that mark it.

Matariki is a small group of stars that reappear in the sky, around mid-winter in late May or early June and rise just before dawn through the winter and spring.

From mid-November Matariki no longer rises but can be seen low in the north at dusk until it disappears from view at the end of March, because it is too close to the sun. Its reappearance in May/June was seen as a rebirth and for many Māori marked the New Year, also called Matariki.

When the New Year is celebrated varies iwi (tribe) by iwi. Some iwi celebrate Matariki events when the stars rise. For others Matariki is celebrated at the next full moon, or the dawn of the next new moon after the stars rise. Another tradition is to wait for the rising of the brightest star in the Orion constellation, Rigel, which is known as Puanga by iwi in the north and Puaka to southern iwi.

For the feasts to celebrate Matariki, Māori harvested kumara (sweet potatoes), smoked fish and preserved birds. Ceremonial offerings to Rongo (the god of food) to ensure good crops for the coming year.

Today you can celebrate the myths and stories, and a New Year like no other, at a range of exciting Matariki events.


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