While the time of Matariki shifts each year due to the phases of Maramataka (Māori lunar environmental calendar), Christchurch City Libraries dedicate the month of June each year to either celebrating or preparing for the rising of Matariki and with it the Māori New Year.
For 11 months of the year, Matariki travels the night sky at the front of a great waka that collects the spirits of those who have passed away. It has different names from place to place but it is most commonly known as Te Waka o Rangi. At the end of the 11th month, the waka travels into the underworld where the spirits are prepared to become stars in the night sky and be watched over by the star Pōhutukawa.
Matariki returns to our skies in the Tangaroa phase (last quarter) of the Maramataka. Our Matariki celebrations continue until the Whiro phase (new Moon) of the Maramataka. This is normally about 5 to 7 days of moving from phase of Tangaroa to Whiro.
|2020||15 May||13-16 July||13-20 July|
|2021||2 June||2-5 July||2-10 July|
|2022||23 May||21-24 June||21-29 June|
|2023||13 May||10-13 July||11-17 July|
|2024||31 May||29 June-2 July||29 June-6 July|
|2025||21 May||19-22 June||19-25 June|
|2026||8 June||8-11 July||8-14 July|
Dates sourced from Matariki: The Star of the Year by Dr Rangi Mātāmua
Hei Mahi – things to do
- Manu Tukutuku – Kites: Kite flying is a big part of Matariki celebrations. It is a way of sending your wishes for the coming year to Hiwa-i-te-Rangi. She is our wishing star, associated with helping people achieving their goals and wishes for the coming year. Traditional Māori kites are called Manu Tukutuku and come in many styles. The most popular of these is the Manu Taratahi made from toitoi and raupō, lashed with harakeke. Explore your home to see what you can use to make a Manu Taratahi or Western style kites like a garbage bag kite or a DIY kite design.
- Hākari – Feasts: Matariki is a time when we come together as a whānau and give thanks for our many blessings. During these gatherings hākari or feasts are held. Popular dishes included in these hākari are:
- Mahi Toi: Design a Matariki wishing star that you can decorate. Or try one of these Matariki activities or crafts.