Matariki, the Maori New Year, is celebrated for the first time in Caledonia

Matariki, the Maori New Year, is celebrated for the first time in Caledonia

We have known Chinese New Year but not Maori New Year. Matariki is his name and it is also the name Maori gave to the constellation Pleiades. A group of stars that usually appear in June and July and represent New Zealand’s transition into winter. Yesterday, it was celebrated for the first time in Caillou, at the Tjibaou Cultural Center.

This year is the first time that the Maori New Year has been officially recognized, and thus celebrated, in New Zealand, Caledonia and the rest of the world. In the New Zealand calendar, it was recorded on June 24, 2022, but for logistical reasons, in Caledonia, it is celebrated only this Tuesday, at the Tjibau Cultural Center.

As in Pacific traditions, customary gestures were exchanged early in the evening, followed by a well-known Maori traditional song. “Matariki is an opportunity to bring together the great community of the Pacific, particularly the Polynesians, in order to celebrate together our similarities but also our differences” explains Karina, a young Samoan.

Myrna Killama reports.

© New Caledonia

Remembrance Tuesday evening in Noumea portends a rapprochement between the two islands. “This year marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between New Caledonia and New Zealand, so I hope to meet all the Caledonians with whom I can deepen this connection with New Zealand as neighbours. In the Pacific.” Explains Felicity Roxburgh, New Zealand’s Consul General in the Territory.

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Aotearoa has 129 diplomatic representations worldwide. Lots of places have celebrated or will celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year, which has no exact date as it depends on the appearance of the chandelier in the sky.

The constellation Pleiad has had many names throughout the ages. For the ancient Greeks, these are the 7 daughters of Atlas and Pleion. For Maori, it’s Matariki, which means in the local language “God’s eyes”. 9 major stars make up. Their appearance in the sky is a sign of the new year and much more…”It is also a time to honor loved ones who have passed away within the past year. According to Maori tradition, in this period, the soul of these beings turns into stars ” Says the Consul General of New Zealand.

The chandelier has other names in Maori

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