Story: Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori

Matariki (the Pleiades)

Matariki (the Pleiades)

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. Matariki is visible for 11 months of the year, disappearing in the lunar month of Haratua in May/June, and rising again around a month later, in the north-eastern skies, during the lunar month of Piripi. This usually occurs in late June or early July. It signals to Māori that the New Year will begin. From 2022 the rising of Matariki has been marked by a ‘Fridayised’ public holiday.

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Photograph by Mark Cannell

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori - Heralding the new year', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/5156/matariki-the-pleiades (accessed 23 September 2023)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 19 Jun 2021