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Matariki–Māori New Year 2019

Matariki traditional New Year is associated with a miraculous constellation referring to Māori genealogy

Matariki–Māori New Year in New Zealand - Best Time
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© Anton Wartmann

Matariki is a set of seven stars which appears in New Zealand's sky in the shortest days of the year marking the beginning of traditional Māori New Year celebration, that takes place in June or July at the same time with the rise of the new moon. Celebrations last up to three days and feature Māori tribal customs reflected in music, dance and food. Matariki stars are quite symbolic. The future crops are believed to be dependent on the brightness of the stars: the brighter, the better. The name "Matariki" can be decoded in two different ways: either "Mata Riki" meaning "Tiny Eyes", or "Mata Ariki" meaning "Eyes of God". Māori name the seven stars of Matariki constellation the Seven Sisters or a Mother and six Daughters. These names refer to the fact that Māori respects​ their genealogy and gather in a family circle for the New Year celebration in order to reflect on their ancestors who died. Festivities include kte-flying traditions, since kites are considered to be connectors between the heavens and earth.

Matariki—the seven star constellation
Matariki—the seven star constellation
Matariki–Māori New Year in New Zealand - Best Season
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