Wellington fires up for Matariki
June 14, 2018
New Zealand is celebrating Matariki, Maori New Year, from June 15 this year.
Matariki does not have a fixed date, rather, it is when the Pleiades, or Matariki, star cluster becomes visible before dawn, usually around May or June.
Wellington will be putting on a number of events to celebrate this year’s festival, including in the east and south.
The Wellington Zoo hosted events at the weekend including making Matariki lanterns “to light up the winter sky,” learning the Te Reo Māori names of zoo animals, and giving harakeke whetū (flax star) to animals.
The Miramar and Maupuia Community Centre will host an evening of kai and music on Saturday July 7, from 5.30-7.30.
Welllington City Council will stage a fireworks show the same day that will replace the usual Guy Fawkes display.
Civic Square will tomorrow evening feature ReCut, a free outdoor arts event showcasing a mix of dynamic art forms.
The council will also host Ahi Ka, celebration involving a waterborne fire, a bonfire which attendees are encouraged to toast marshmallows on, Maori storytelling, waiata and performance, on Friday, June 29, at the waterfront’s Whairepo lagoon and Odlins Plaza.
It will include the Nga Wai Pīata (Streams of Light) opening procession, where children from seven regional schools will hold hand-made light sculptures of land and sea creatures made with local Māori artist Terrence Turner.
It will also feature workshops for learning how to make and use poi. As part of Ahi Ka, Te Papa will host ’Oneone,’ which the council describes as “an amazing work of living art… a haunting sensory experience featuring digital cinema and a lone dancer on the water.”