For many Māori, the reappearance in the mid-winter sky of a cluster of stars they call Matariki signals the start of the New Year. As with New Year’s celebrations around the world, this means a time of feasting, looking forward and also remembering those who have gone before.
Thist APP is a collection of online publications, websites, and Social Media sites that discuss Matariki in Aotearoa New Zealand and other places.
Matariki was used as a navigation aid for the mighty waka that crossed the vast Pacific, eventually bringing Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Because of its importance to Māori, the appearance of Matariki was wrapped in stories so the knowledge of its location and significance could be handed down from generation to generation. Matariki was seen as a perfect time to teach the young about the land and to remember whakapapa (ancestry), telling stories of those who have passed from this world to the next and the legacy they left behind.
The appearance of Matariki is used to forecast the weather for the upcoming year. If the stars are bright and clear, the weather will be warm. If the clouds are quivering and seem close together then there’s a cold year ahead.