Whanau (family), whakangahau (performance) and kai (food)… we think all the best things about Matariki, so don't miss ‘WAI.TAI and Kai’ at the NZ Maritime Museum.
WAI.TAI will be back by popular demand, a collaboration of musicians under the musical direction of Robyn Kamira who creates the wairua-imbued sounds of Māori-World music.
The mobile food truck Pūhā & Pākehā will also be at the museum, sharing their delicious modern Māori kai. Pūhā & Pākehā is all about inclusiveness, bringing two cultures together, adding one thing to another to create something new.
There are also holiday activities for tamariki (children) and an exciting opportunity to be immersed in a world of stars, sea and waka kaupapa inside a blow up star dome with ocean navigators from Te Toki Voyaging Trust.
Matariki is a star cluster which appears in the night sky during mid-winter. According to the Maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar), the reappearance of Matariki, brings the old lunar year to a close and marks the beginning of the new year. Hence, Matariki is associated with the Māori New Year.
Traditionally, festivities were conducted to celebrate Matariki, they followed the harvesting of crops when the pātaka (food) storehouses were full, freeing up time for family and leisure. These festivities included the lighting of ritual fires, the making of offerings, and celebrations of various kinds to farewell the dead, to honour ancestors and to celebrate life.
Tohunga (spiritual) experts looked to the Matariki star cluster to find out how abundant the upcoming year’s harvest would be. Bright, clear stars promised a warm and successful season. Hazy stars, however, warned of cold weather and poor crops.