With deep spiritual roots, the tikanga of Matariki is much more than astronomy, agriculture and weather predictions. The tikanga of Matariki is a time for whānau. The festival’s connection to the stars provides an opportunity for families to remember their whakapapa (genealogy) and those ancestors who have passed away. Matariki unifies us as one human family. It is both a time for thanksgiving and a time for renewal. Clearly this new year in Māori culture has strong links with the sacramental nature of our faith.
Once the sun passes the shortest day of the year in the northeast, Matariki rises just before the dawn sunrise, and is best seen sparkling low on the northeast horizon. It signals the time of preparing the gardens for the new crops.
What does Matariki mean?
The cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus is known as The Pleiades. They are among the nearest star clusters to Earth and visible to the naked eye. This is the astronomical background to the Māori new year known as Matariki. The word is derived from ‘mata’= ‘eyes’ and ‘ariki’ = god’. So Matariki means “the eyes of god.” Matariki festivities are important because they remind us of the cycle of life, the need to show respect for the land on which we live and natural ways of marking the passing of time.
Karakia for the predawn rising of the star cluster
Manawa maie te putanga o Matariki
Manawa maie te ariki o te rangi
Manawa maie to Mā tahi o te tau
Hail the rise of Matariki
Hail the lord of the sky
Hail the new year.
In the spirit of Matariki let’s celebrate this week all that unites us here: Build stronger partnerships with your local mana whenua, reconnect with old friends and make new ones and with a deep gratitude and respect for the gifts of creation. Reflect on your place in the world and set new goals.
Simple blessings before a meal together
Ki te ingoa, o te Matua, o te Tamaiti, o te Wairua Tapu. Āmene
Kia taku whanau, Me nga hoa, Mo te kai, Kia ora.
For our family, friends, and food, we say thank you. Āmene
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Mo mua i te kai
E tōku Atua
Whakapaingia mātou me ēnei kai kua homai e koe kia ora ai mātou.
Mā to mātou Ariki mā Hehu Karaiti.
Grace before a meal
Bless the food O Lord
Bless those who prepared it and please give food to the hungry.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Additional information link to Miha Resources Here