Celebrations leading up to Matariki have begun as Aotearoa looks set to mark its newest public holiday for the second time.
A booklet containing karakia for each of the nine stars of Matariki was launched today at an event at the Dark Sky Sanctuary in Takapō.
It will be distributed widely across the country to schools and communities as Aotearoa continues to embrace the occasion.
In 2023, Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki will be officially celebrated on Friday 14 July.
Last year was an incredible highlight for all of Aotearoa with Matariki marked for the first time as an official public holiday.
“It was a beautiful moment to see how the nation took joy in celebrating and embracing Matariki last year,” Minister Kelvin Davis said today.
“Data suggests at least 87% of New Zealanders now have some understanding of what Matariki is about and means – that is phenomenal.
“The job now is to embed the day into our calendar while ensuring it remains grounded in mātauranga Māori and upholds the key principles and values associated with Matariki,” he said.
“Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki is part of the fabric of Aotearoa, a day we can proudly claim as our own and one that is for all New Zealanders”, Willow-Jean Prime said.
“In sharing these karakia, we are empowering all New Zealanders to take part in our uniquely Aotearoa public holiday in a way that acknowledges mātauranga Māori and speaks to the principles of remembering those who have passed, celebrating the present and planning for the future.”
Chief Advisor – Mātauranga Matariki, Professor Rangi Mātāmua said the booklet was an important resource that would support whānau and communities with their own preparations as they decided how to mark Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki.
“It is incredibly special to have been in Te Waipounamu today, amongst the embrace of Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Te Rūnanga o Waihao and Te Rūnanga o Moeraki and tamariki from a number of schools in this region as we presented this taonga, which is ultimately for our mokopuna,” Professor Mātāmua said.
A copy of the Matariki karakia booklet and other resources supporting Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki can be found at: https://www.matariki.net.nz/resources.