Ways to celebrate Matariki
The most important thing is to make time to gather with friends and family - share kai, remember those that have passed, acknowledge then let go of anything that has not served you in the year that has past and share your hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming year.
There are many ways to get involved in Matariki celebrations, whether you prefer to do this at home, in your community or at one of the many special events that form part of the Matariki Festival in Aotearoa.
Umu kohukohu whetū
The Umu Kohukohu Whetū involves lighting a hāngī / Umu (earth oven) before sunrise on the first day of Matariki celebrations, welcoming the Māori new year with food offerings to the Matariki star cluster.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is leading the resurgence and practice of Umu Kohukohu Whetū, on their whenua Takaparawhau as part of the Matariki festival.
Head outside with whānau and try to spot the Matariki stars. The best time to see it is just before sunrise from 2-11 July and can be seen in the North East. Take the kids to a special night-time storytelling of pūrākau and waiata under the stars.
Share Kai with loved ones
Celebrate with friends and whānau by sharing kai - Māori believe that when Matariki gathers in the sky, it calls people to gather on earth. Consider cooking with Māori vegetables and acknowledge the value of healthy kai as a taonga for achieving wellbeing.
Karakia and an offering to the atua
Prepare kai and give as an offering to the atua and Tupuna. Leave it on a special plate outside and gift it with karakia (prayer)
Reflection and Manifestation
Think new year's resolutions but in July - take time out to reflect on the past year and consider all that you want to let go of, everything that no longer serves you (this applies also for people in your life that need letting go of.) Our favourite ritual is to write down things that we know longer wish to carry (habits, people, limiting beliefs) and throw it into a fire - symbolising it being burnt away.
Equally, write down your desires, hopes, intentions and dreams for yourself and your whanau for the coming year and put that somewhere you can always see. Frame it and read it daily - manifest,manifest, manifest!
Go on a bush or beach walk and explore Papatuanuku. Matariki is a time to explore our natural world. Walk at dusk or dawn and listen to Mauri Tau, a storytelling experience that weaves together the magic of theatre, nature and your whakapapa (genealogical link) to the stars.
Take time to remember those that have passed. Talk to tamariki about them, show pictures, share stories, laugh and cry.