Months of the Māori lunar calendar: Maramataka

In the traditional Māori maramataka, or calendar, the new year begins with the first new moon at the end of May or beginning of June. This is when the star cluster known as Matariki (The Pleiades) reappears on the eastern horizon.

In earlier times, each tribe had its own traditions and knowledge around Matariki. This lore was based on the tribe’s understanding of the stars and phases of the moon, and how these affected the rhythms of PapatūānukuPapatūānuku Mother Earth.

 

Traditional Māori names for the lunar months

English

Direct translation in Māori 

Pipiri

June

Hune

Hōngongoi

July

Hūraey

Hereturikōkā

August

Ākuhata

Mahuru

September

Hepetema          

Whiringa-ā-nuku

October

Oketopa

Whiringa-ā-rangi

November

Noema

Hakihea

December

Tīhema

Kohitātea

January

Hānuere

Huitānguru

February

Pēpuere

Poutūterangi

March

Māehe

Paengawhāwhā

April

Āpereira

Haratua

May

Mei