Books in the library
Today, June 10th 2013, is the start of Matariki the celebration that marks the rising of the Pleiades (Seven sisters) star cluster, and also signals the start of the Maori New Year. Matariki is a mid-winter celebration and in days gone by it was held after the crops had been harvested, and was a way of deciding when to prepare the soil for planting new crops. When the stars were first sighted they were celebrated with karakia, laments, songs of joy and dancing.
Across New Zealand many events are taking place to celebrate Matariki, but I think that perhaps one of the most significant will be to watch the moon set before the rising of Matariki at dawn. If you climb to the summit of Tamaki Makaurau’s Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) in Auckland, there will be a Matariki Dawn Karakia on Saturday June 22nd. You have to arrive by 5:30 am. Let’s hope it is a beautiful morning with no rain.