Matariki - The Māori New Year
Matariki is the Māori name for a group of stars also known as the Pleiades or "Seven Sisters" in English.
It is a time for remembrance, celebration and renewal - remembering those who have passed before us; celebrating our ancestors and their gifts to us; renewing our relationships with family, friends and community.
Matariki is the Māori name given to a cluster of stars that rise in the eastern skies in the early winter. Matariki also means "little eyes".
Many people believe that Matariki is seven sisters. There are nine stars in the Greek tradition of the constellation: seven children and their parents. In the Māori tradition, there are also nine stars.
The cluster looks like a small group of bright dots with four brighter ones at one end. The seven stars make up what would be called an open star cluster (unlike our sun which is part of a really large group called a galaxy).
The rising of Matariki is celebrated by Māori as an important time to gather food, reflect on the year past and remember loved ones. Traditionally, Matariki was also used to navigate waka (canoes) and determine when it was safe to travel across water. More recently Matariki has been celebrated with fireworks and festivals around New Zealand.
This year New Zealand celebrates Matariki as a public holiday.
Kua haehae ngā hihi o Matariki.
The rays of Matariki are spread.
People say this whakataukī when Matariki can be seen bright in the night sky. The rays of its stars are thought to carry messages for the people. Matariki is a time to share stories, reflect on the past, and plan for the future.
This is the inspiration for our Matariki collection this year.
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