How to celebrate Matariki at home
Me pēhea te whakanui i a Matariki i te kāinga

The star cluster Matariki appears in our skies in the month of Pipiri (June-July), marking the start of the Māori New Year. This is the coldest time of the year and Pipiri means ‘to draw close’.

It’s a time to come together with your friends, whānau, and communities. It’s about eating, reflecting, having fun, and looking forward to the year ahead.

1. Enjoy a mid-winter feast with friends and whānau

Traditionally, Matariki is a time to share kai from the pātaka, the storehouse, harvested from past seasons. It’s too cold for planting, so it’s a time to relax, eat, and enjoy good company.

Someone holding a candle

Caption

Holding a candle at a Matariki ritual, 2017. Te Papa

2. Light a candle

Matariki is a time for reflection. Light a candle to remember loved ones who have passed away, or to farewell unwanted memories.

3. Write down your hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the year ahead

What do you want to achieve? What do you want to see? Record thoughts like these and return to them later – how did you do?  

Tui perching on flax, or harakeke in flower

Caption

Tui, 2012. Photograph by Sid Mosdell, via Flickr. CC-BY Gen 2.0

4. Go outside!

Look up at the stars (can you see Matariki?). Go for a walk in your neighbourhood and get to know its streams, rivers, and trees. Listen to the birds.

5. Play games and tell stories

Matariki is about having fun with your loved ones. Learn to play mū tōrere, a Māori board game. Or make up a story to tell your whānau.

6. Organise a neighbourhood ritual

Come together with your community for a Matariki ritual that uses all the ideas above: Fire and warmth, food, reflection, hopes and dreams, stories, nature, and games.