Celebrate Astronomically-Based Matariki
A story about Māori New Year, when the constellation Matariki is first visible in the morning sky, features in Forbes this week. The date of the inaugural Matariki public holiday has been announced by the New Zealand Government and will be celebrated on Friday 24 June 2022.
“Matariki is the Māori name given to the cluster of stars most commonly known as Pleiades. Its translation means ‘eyes of god’ or ‘eye of the chief’,” Valerie Stimac, a contributor who specialises in space tourism and astrotourism experiences around the world, writes for Forbes.
“Matariki has many different names around the world. In addition to being called the Pleiades (its ancient Greek name), this open star cluster is also known as the Seven Sisters. Māori New Year is marked when Matariki appears in the early morning sky above New Zealand, specifically during mid-winter. It signals the Lunar New Year.
“‘At this time in our national history Māori are sharing something that is unique to our culture – in the belief that sharing it will help to reaffirm our bonds to each other and our national identity,” Dr Rangi Matamua, an expert on Matariki, Māori astronomy, and star lore, said.”
Original article by Valerie Stimac, Forbes, July 2, 2021.