The yearly reappearance of Matariki signifies a time to prepare, to share ideas, to
remember the past and celebrate the future. Matariki can be a time of change,
and growth. During Matariki we acknowledge what we have and what we have to
give. Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It's a celebration of culture, language,
spirit and people, of our past, present and looking to the future.
From Christchurch City Libraries Matariki Resource Pack
Sybolically I think its a wonderful festival to observe, especially in the southern hemisphere where winter drags on devoid of the celebrations of Christmas and the Christian New Year. My grand plan for this year was to tell a Matariki story to Munchkin for story time, but alas, I never quite got there (life with a second baby is really lowering my standards!) However, I wanted to share it with you, and I wanted to make sure I know where to find it next year!
The story is "The Seven Star Fishes":
'One day a mother fish said to her little fishes
'Now listen carefully, dear children
Be sure you keep close in to the rocks.
Do not venture out ito the open sea,
Today Tataraimaka goes fishing"
Tataraimaka was a gian who fished with an enormous black net. His black net made magic and has been woven from flax.
On this day however the sea was smooth, the sun was at its brightest. Rainbow colours danced about the little fishes as they played their games. They were having so much fun they forgot their mothers words.
Without warning disaster struck. The big black net of Tataraimaka hit the water and all seven fishes were caught. They cried, making the sea salty with their tears.
Tane the God of light heard their cries and felt sorry for them. He took away Tataraimaka's net and hauled it up into the high heavens.
There the seven little fishes were turned into stars. You can see them right now in the evening above the horizon. Six of the star have names - they are Toheti, Toheta, Tupuanuku, Tupuarangi, Ururangi and Waipuna-a-rangi.
But one star remains nameless. It has been left for all the children of the world. Just before going to bed, you may put your name on this star, and in this way you will be among friends as you sleep.
My plan is to create this as a puppet story - with a blue muslin and eight cardboard or felt fishes (a big one for the mummy and seven littler ones) and then have a black sheet (I think I have an old black valance I could cut up) for the net/sky, with stars on one side. Easy ... really!
Also, I saw this book at the local library - must remember to get it for ideas for next year. At our Steiner school they incorporate some Matariki celebrations as part of the lantern walk for St Johns Tides (yep, if you are from the Northern Hemisphere its mighty confusing!).
So did anyone reading do anything for Matariki this year ? If so please leave a comment - I'd love to hear about it!