Celebrate Matariki 2023: A Spectacular Cultural Event

Celebrate Matariki 2023: A Wholesome Guide for Families

Welcome to the Twinkling Stars of Matariki 2023!

Hello, lovely parents and guardians! Are you ready for a spectacular celestial event that the whole family can enjoy? That’s right, it’s time to talk about Matariki, the Maori New Year, which is just around the corner in 2023! ??

Whether you’re familiar with Matariki or hearing about it for the first time, this guide will help you and your whanau (family) dive into the heart of these celebrations. There’s no better time to come together, look up at the night sky, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

What Is Matariki?

Matariki is a significant time in the Maori calendar, marking the start of the Maori New Year. This time of reflection, remembrance, and new beginnings coincides with the rising of the Matariki star cluster – also known worldwide as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. ?

Traditionally, it’s a period where the Maori people honor those who have passed, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. It’s a beautiful moment that weaves together constellations of culture, history, and astronomy.

When is Matariki 2023?

The date of Matariki changes every year, as it is determined by the lunar calendar. For 2023, Matariki is expected to begin in late June, when the Pleiades star cluster rises above the horizon just before dawn – an ethereal sight indeed! ?

Keep your calendars open and your eyes to the skies, because this is a cosmic event not to be missed.

Why Celebrate Matariki as a Family?

Celebrating Matariki is such an enriching experience for families. It’s an incredible opportunity to connect with the environment, appreciate Maori culture, and instill a sense of wonder for the universe in your children. Plus, the shared activities and stories will tighten the bonds of kinship – and who doesn’t love a bit of stargazing?

matariki 2023

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Five Essential Things Parents Should Know for Matariki 2023

As parents, you’re the guiding stars for your children’s exploration of the world. Embrace that role fully as you prepare to introduce them to the wonders of Matariki. Here’s what you need to prepare for this enlightening festival.

  1. Understanding the Significance of Matariki

    The celebration of Matariki is rooted in Maori culture and astronomy, marking the appearance of the Pleiades star cluster. Delve into the stories and traditions with your children, so they appreciate the cultural importance behind the festivities, and understand that it’s more than just a stellar display.

  2. Learn the Maori Lunar Calendar

    Matariki follows the Maori lunar calendar, which is different from the Gregorian calendar we use daily. Get involved with your local cultural groups or online communities to track the lunar cycle and predict the appearance of Matariki in the night sky.

  3. Preparing for Dawn Viewings

    The best time to view Matariki is during pre-dawn hours. This may mean changing sleep schedules slightly to ensure everyone can get up early. Make it an adventure; pack warm blankets, hot cocoa, and snacks to keep spirits high. Remember to choose a viewing spot away from city lights for the best visibility!

  4. Embrace Traditional Arts and Crafts

    Lead up to the celebration with creative projects. Creating star charts, drawing constellations, or crafting traditional Maori items can all be ways to get involved. Not only do these activities give a hands-on understanding of Matariki, but they also serve as bonding time for the whole family.

  5. Plan For the Future

    Matariki is a time for remembrance and future planning. Involve your family in setting goals or starting new family traditions. Plant a tree, start a family journal, or simply have each member express their dreams for the coming year. It’s about setting intent and encouraging growth, much like the New Year we celebrate on January 1st.

Family Activities for Matariki 2023

Getting ready for Matariki with a variety of activities is a fantastic way to build anticipation and educate your children about this unique New Year celebration. Consider these activities:

  • Stargazing parties
  • Matariki storytime with books and local legends
  • Workshops on Maori culture and language
  • Environmentally friendly activities such as tree planting
  • Kite making and flying, as kites are often used to send wishes to the heavens during Matariki
  • Community potlucks or feasts featuring traditional Maori foods

Every activity is an opportunity to learn and celebrate together. Immerse yourselves in the stars and stories of Matariki, creating a shared experience that will shine on throughout the year.

Resources for Learning About Matariki

To enrich your Matariki experience, here’s a list of resources you can explore:

  • Local libraries for books on Matariki and Maori culture
  • Cultural centers and museums, which often hold special Matariki events
  • Online educational resources and interactive games
  • Astronomy apps to help identify the Pleiades and other constellations
  • Maori TV and radio stations, which may have Matariki-themed programming

By accessing these resources, you’ll be well-equipped to teach and celebrate Matariki with depth and authenticity.

See more great Things to Do with Kids in New Zealand here. For more information see here

The articles available via our website provide general information only and we strongly urge readers to exercise caution and conduct their own thorough research and fact-checking. The information presented should not be taken as absolute truth, and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, we will not be held liable for any inaccuracies or errors in the content. It is essential for individuals to independently verify and validate the information before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the articles.

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