A reflection for Māori New Year
Mānawatia a Matariki - Celebrate our New Year
Matariki signals the Māori New Year. It is a time of renewal and celebration in New Zealand that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster. If you live in the northern hemisphere you will know the star cluster as The Pleiades. In New Zealand the cluster comes into view low on the north-eastern horizon, in the tail of the Milky Way, just before dawn in midwinter. This signals the Māori New Year and the changing of the seasons.
Matariki is a celebration of the natural world. It connects people with nature and the rhythms of the seasons. It invites awareness of the land, the sea and the sky and our interaction with creation. Paying attention to our environment is more important than ever. For us as Christians, our care of the natural world connects us to God.
Ka titiro ahau ki au rangi, ki te mahi a ōu maihao, ki te marama, ki ngā whetu, i hanga nei e koe;
He aha te tangata i maharatia ai e koe? Te tama rānei a te tangata i tirohia ai ia e koe?
Nohinohi nei te wāhi i whakaititia iho ai ia e koe i te Atua, karaunatia ana ia e koe ki te kororia, ki te honore.
Waiho iho e koe hei kingi mo ngā mahi a ōu ringa; kua waiho e koe ngā mea katoa i raro i ōna waewae;
Ngā hipi katoa, ngā puru, me ngā kirehe katoa o te parae;
Te manu o te rangi, me te ika o te moana, e tere nei i ngā ara o ngā moana.
E Ihowa, e to matou Ariki, anō te nui o tōu ingoa i te whenua katoa!
You can read the English words in the Contemporary English Version Psalm 8:3-9
This year we celebrate Matariki with our first public holiday in Aotearoa. It is a time for all New Zealanders to take the opportunity to embrace mātauranga Māori, wisdom and knowledge. It has been an historic weekend, the first public holiday of Matariki and marks a waypoint for us as a nation, but also for us as individuals.
“And so, I share this same simple aspiration.
That this moment in time, this waypoint in our journey, offers us the chance to come together as families, but also as a nation. Under the stars of a bright, optimistic, and hopeful Matariki.
A space where there is room for all of us.
Mānawatia a Matariki!”
- Jacinda Arden
In the northern hemisphere on the shortest days, there is Christmas and New Year to celebrate, but here the winter has previously seemed to arrive without fanfare and drag through to spring. Embracing Matariki makes so much sense to me in so many ways. I am delighted for my Māori friends that we are acknowledging this indigenous festival. I have welcomed this opportunity to celebrate Matariki and to learn from Māori wisdom and honour this wisdom. Already this weekend there has been time to get outdoors to look at the sky and the sea, There’s been time to pause, reflect, remember, celebrate and look ahead. I look forward to what Matariki celebrations will hold in future years.
Even if you live in a country where you’re in the longest days of the year, and summer is now upon you, I wanted to share Matariki with you. Today’s format is a little different with three simple prayers included for paid subscribers. I’ve also included a download of our Matariki Retreat. It was written for paid subscribers of some of our other resources, but this year we’re also giving it to you. I hope you will find it inspiring and you’ll make some space to appreciate the wisdom of mātauranga Māori.
Mānawatia a Matariki!
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