Matariki is the Māori name for the star cluster known as the Pleiades. Traditionally for Māori when it appeared just before dawn in late May or early June, it signaled the start of the Māori New Year. In traditional times, Matariki was a season to celebrate and to prepare the ground for the coming year. Today Matariki means celebrating the unique place in which we live and giving respect to the land we live on.
This year Matariki will begin on 25 June. You can get a chance to see Matariki if you get up very early in the morning.
Learn a little more about Matariki with these videos:
Q1. What do you think Matariki is all about?
Q2. What does the rising of Matariki signal to Māori?
Q3. What does Matariki mean to you and your family? Share with us how you celebrate it.
Q4. How are you celebrating Matariki at your School?
Q5. Matariki is a cluster of stars. Do you know of any other star clusters or constellations in our southern skies?
Q6. In your opinion is Matariki important enough to be recognised as a National Holiday in NZ, if so why?
Q7. What is something that you have learned about Matariki that you did not know before?
Q8. What are your favourite party foods?
Q9. Discover what year you were born in using a calendar of your choice (eg. Chinese). Share with us what you found out.
Find out all about the Matariki constellation by playing this interactive game.