Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Matariki Festival returns for 2023

Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Council and iwi partner Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have announced the return of Matariki Festival for 2023.

The 11-day festival (11 – 22 July) has been designed around the Maramataka (Māori calendar) to ensure that the kaupapa of the season remains the focus.

The festival will offer a programme for Aucklanders and visitors of all ages be entertained, learn more about the world of te ao Māori across over 100 events and activities taking place throughout Tāmaki Makaurau.

Auckland Mayor, Wayne Brown said he was excited for all to attend.

“We are proud to partner with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to present Matariki Festival,” he said.

“This year, there are many free, whānau-friendly events where our communities can come together to reflect on and celebrate the Māori New Year, especially Umu Kohukohu Whetū which I will be attending.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei chair, Marama Royal said she was looking forward to seeing Aucklanders honouring the festival’s kaupapa once again.

“Matariki is a time of coming together. It is a time of reflection, honouring loved ones who have passed on and to prepare for the year ahead,” she said.

“As tangata whenua of central Auckland, it was exciting last year to see our city really embrace Matariki, like never before. It was incredible to see so many people come together on our whenua Takaparawhau for the resurgence of the ancient practice of umu kohukohu whetū. We are looking forward to hosting this kaupapa once again to ensure that Matariki across our city is grounded in tikanga Māori.

“Hikaia ngā ahi o Matariki

“Hikaia ngā ahi o Te Kahu Tōpuni o Tuperiri”

Ms Royal encouraged Aucklanders to explore different ways to participate in Matariki once again.

“There are many ways to pause and reflect with loved ones this Matariki season, including a pourewa / planting day at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s whenua Takaparawhau on 22 July to give back to Papatūānuku, who sustains us throughout the year.”

Matariki Festival also provides an opportunity for Aucklanders and visitors to learn more. Consider attending the Umu Kohukohu Whetū to observe traditional practices that begins the Matariki period; learn the ahi kā / story of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei with spectacular light and sound show with Vector Lights; and don’t miss Matariki Festival Day where you can think deeper through toi Māori and performances, seen with new eyes and with new understanding.

Matariki Festival officially opens on 11 July with a special light and sound show with Vector Lights. Vector Lights and Matariki Festival are honoured to showcase iwi partners, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei with their story of ahi kā in Tāmaki Makaurau that is grounded in tikanga and taonga tuku of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. The event begins at 5.30pm at Silo Park with Vector Lights switching on at 6pm and a special performance from Majic Paora (Ngāti Whātua, Te Aupōuri, Ngā Puhi) with her Matariki waiata.

This year’s Matariki Festival will have over 100 events across Tāmaki Makaurau but will be held up by three pou (signature) events.

Umu Kohukohu Whetū (14 July) is a pre-dawn ceremony led by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei on their whenua Takaparawhau / Bastion Point. Come along and witness a Hau Tapu ceremony (sacred offering ceremony) – the offering of food and steam to the stars of Matariki from the umu or hāngī – and take part in the karakia that fill the morning skies as we come together to celebrate Matariki. The Ngāti Whātua ŌrākeiUmu Kohukohu Whetū will take place at Takaparawhau / Bastion Point, from 5-9am.

Matariki Festival Day (14 July), hosted by our venue partners Auckland Live, is set to take over the Auckland Town Hall! Celebrate Matariki through pūrākau (stories) with the Sandman, kai (food) with Mamas Hāngī, kōrerorero (discussions) with our panel interviews, toi Māori (art) with tawhiao7 and My Taiao, whare tapere (performance) from NZ Dance Company, kapa haka with Ngā Puna o Waiorea, and a soulful waiata session from Jordyn with a Why. Join us for a full afternoon of joy, remembrance and celebration from 12-6pm in Auckland Town Hall.

Manu Aute Kite Day (15 July) is a favourite with whānau. Manu aute and manu tukutuku (kites) were used to celebrate special occasions, send messages to the heavens and communicate between hapū. Manu Aute Kite Day honours these traditions with kites of all shapes and sizes filling the skies above Tāmaki Makaurau. Join in to make and fly your own manu tukutuku or bring your own kite to send up to the sky. This year’s event is once again held at Takaparawhau / Bastion Point Ōrākei.

Check out the full festival line-up at matarikifestival.org.nz and search for Matariki Festival events in your area using the interactive map.

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