News

20 May 2009

Puanga, Matariki - our Aotearoa Pacific New Year 2009 Pipiri 24 June


Puanga, Matariki celebrates the diversity of life.
It's a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.
The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year.
The new moon can be seen for the first time on these dates. In Taranaki it is called Puanga.

Puanga, Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year.
Matariki is the name for a small cluster of tiny stars also known as the Pleiades. Astronomers generally refer to Matariki as Pleaides.
This cluster of stars is well known across the globe, it signifies the Maori new year and acts as a key navigation beacon
for ocean voyagers, as well as an important signal for seasonal celebration in many countries.
The cluster is a group of many hundreds of stars about 400 light years from Earth and has been recognised since
ancient times.
The brightest stars are quite easy to see with the unaided eye in Greek legend bear the names of
Seven Sisters, the daughters of Atlas and Pleone, Alcyone, Merope, Asterops, Maia, Taygeta, Calaeno and Electra.
For some tribes Puanga or Rigel is the star that signifies the beginning of the Maori New Year.