Mataraki Celebrations


(The beginning of Matariki at Te Whare o Raphael in 2014)


On Saturday 14 June, whānau gathered for a noho marae, staying overnight in the Eurythmy room.  A highlight was seeing the moon rising, beautiful and luminous, over the hills across the valley.  In the morning the group was joined by others for the dawn ceremony to welcome the return of Matariki (and Pūanga) to our skies.  Unfortunately, commitments to whānau meant that at the last minute our key people were unavailable to be there.  It did, however, give us the chance to put into practice the whakatauki: Nau te rourou, Naku te rourou, Ka ora ai te tangata (with your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive).  Soon a karanga rang out over the valley to welcome Matariki and a karakia was said (even though both were much more simplified than originally intended), beautiful words were spoken about the significance of Matariki, and we all sung the waiata that the tamariki have been learning at the kura.  Followed, of course, by sharing kai.


The kaupapa of whānau and ritual was therefore kept, and the rhythm continued.  The whānau gathered together to mark the occasion, including the ever-present Caroline coming to tautoko the occasion; the whānau who are new to both the kura and the country, coming to experience Māori culture and make the connections to their own and other cultures they have experienced; and the whānau with young children who didn’t quite make the ceremony, but came to share kai with the group anyway.  The ritual was carried out through welcoming the return of Matariki, acknowledging the turning point of the winter and the new beginning it brings, and making connections between ourselves and creation, all gathered together in the still morning hour when the world seems to stand still and take a breath – Te Āta-tū.  Tihei Mouri Ora!