05 June 2008

5 June 2008 - Matariki - Puanga.

The Maori new year 'Te tau hou' is marked by the rise of Matariki : the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters,
in the Taurus constellation and the sighting of the next new moon.
The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the new year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June. It is also referred to as Puanga - with  the rising of the star Puanga (Rigel in Orion) which heralds the new year, not Matariki.

It rises just once a year; in New Zealand it comes into view low on the north-eastern horizon,
appearing in the tail of the Milky Way in the last days of May or in early June, just before dawn.
In Waitara, Taranaki on the Manukorihi School Notice board it is referred to as Puanga.