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Ngā mihi o te tau hou! Happy new year!

The rise of the star cluster Pleiades (Matariki) signals the start of the Māori New Year.

Matariki is the Māori name for the star cluster Pleiades which is visible at a specific time of the year, usually June/July. The rise of Matariki in the sky is best seen at dawn on 2-5 July in 2021.

Anika Moa's Matariki feast

We’ve been busy with our wāhine toa Anika Moa cooking up a delicious Matariki feast for you to whip up with your whānau! 

Fun facts
There is some confusion around whether there are 7 or 9 stars in the Matariki cluster. According to leading Māori astronomer, Dr Rangi Matamua, there are 9 visible stars. 
The greek equivalent Pleiades is known as the 7 sisters, but even in this cluster there are actually 9 stars (the 7 daughters of Atlas and Pleione)
Many iwi view Matariki as the Mother and her children (all others stars except Pōhutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-rangi)
Not all iwi celebrate Matariki at the same time and some Iwi are not able to see Matariki at all and instead celebrate the New Year with a star named Puanga – places like Taranaki, Whanganui and on the West Coast of the South Island.
Māori didn’t use a gregorian solar calendar but followed a lunar calendar called the Maramataka where different activities took place during different phases of the moon. For example certain times of the month were better for planting and others for fishing or conducting rituals. Specifically, Eel fishing is never done during a full moon because the bright light would not allow the eel to hunt as its prey could see them. 
In 2020 the Matariki cluster signalled a long dry summer... which ended up being very true!