Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Matariki - Maori New Year

It is the intention of our programme for children to be able to walk in both the world of Māori and Pakeha. By this we ensure children are exposed to hearing Te reo Māori in the kindergarten, we practice tikanga Māori ( Māori protocols such as no sitting on tables, saying karakia at kai time) and noting important celebrations.

This year we are celebrating Matariki with Nayland Primary where we have been invited to join in their art competition, laying and eating of a hangi and participating on the night walk and having a look through the observatory telescope.

What is Matariki?

Matarki marks the Maori new year. The word translates as "little eyes" or "eyes of god"
Towards the end of May the seven stars of Matariki sink below the horizon and disappears from the New Zealand sky. If you watch closely in June you might be lucky to witness shortly before dawn you will see Matariki return. The seven stars rise above the horizon exactly where the sun will appear about half an hour later.

There are a number of legends that tell the story of the seven stars in the sky pertaining to different Iwi (tribes). The brightness of the stars are said to predict whether we will have a good harvest for the year or not. Children at kindergarten have read about Tane and the stars and will be exploring the story about the seven fishes.
The stars are significant to many cultures all over the world.

Come and celebrate Matariki with the Nayland Community - Thursday 17th June with us.

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