Every year, thousands of people across Aotearoa take part in Matariki celebrations to mark the beginning of the Māori New Year.
Matariki refers to the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades, which rises in the middle of winter. This event marks the start of the Māori new year, although iwi across the country celebrate in different ways and at different times.
It's a time to remember those who have passed away over the past year and to make plans for the future.
This year, New Zealand celebrates its first public holiday for Matariki on Friday June 24, and there are countless events planned across the country to mark the occasion.
So, whether you already celebrate every year with your whānau or it's your first time, here's how to mark the occasion - from what to eat to where to go to what to watch and learn about Matariki.
Feast Matariki 2022
Feast Matariki is a series of events across the country to celebrate Māori kai in the days around Matariki, from June 12 to 26.
Feast Matariki in Ōtautahi/Christchurch takes place on Saturday, June 25 at the Botanic Gardens, with kai and storytelling on offer from Maori chefs and presenters, including Jonny Schwass, Josh Hunter and Junior Tana. Get your tickets here.
In Awarua/Bluff, you can celebrate Matariki at Te Rau Aroha Marae on Friday June 24, with a meal served by marae food expert Mali and Eat NZ Kaitaki chefs Ethan Flack and Dan Tarrant. Secure your ticket here.
Meanwhile, in Otago, an immersive waterfront show takes place in Ōtepoti/Dunedin over three nights, combining water and light into a visually stunning experience for the whole family. A food night market with offerings from several local eateries is also on offer. This is a free public event.
And a Feast Matariki Community Festival is set for Tākapō on Saturday June 25, with presentations from Mahika Kai experts along with Eat New Zealand chef Giulio Sturia. This is a free event - get your tickets here.
Matariki Ki Waikato 2022 festival
From Friday June 17 to Sunday July 17, this year's Matariki Ki Waikato festival programme promises over 100 events across the Waikato.
From food to workshops, music, fashion, talks, culture, art and matauranga Māori across Hamilton, Raglan and Ngāruawāhia, there's something for everyone, young and old.
Jess B, L.A.B. and Masaya are among the performers on Saturday, July 2 at Globox Arena in Hamilton. Kapa haka group Te Pou-o-Mangatāwhiri and 80s band Mercedes will perform at Mānawatia a Matariki on Friday 24 June.
Meanwhile, Kite Day on Sunday, June 26 will be a fun family event that sees around 1000 families making kites and flying them together at Hamilton Gardens. The hugely popular open mic event Whiti 2022 will take place on Saturday, July 2 at The Meteor Theatre.
co.nz at The PumpHouse Theatre
The PumpHouse Theatre's outdoor amphitheatre in Takapuna will host the play "co.nz" under the stars for four nights from June 29 to July 2.
Playwright Mark Wilson (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) created the play to tell the story of his own journey reconnecting with his culture, also following the personal stories of the actors performing as they learn about the meaning behind Matariki.
This is a free event with food provided. You can register for the event here.
If you're spending this wintery weekend at home with family, you can still mark Matariki with countless TV specials on offer.
Celebrate Matariki - Friday June 24
TVNZ's Celebrate Matariki live broadcast will air live on TVNZ 1, Prime, Three and Whakaata Māori this Friday, hosted by Stacey Morrison and Matai Smith. The broadcast will feature panel discussions, live music and an address from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Purapura Whetū - Stars of Matariki – Friday June 24
A live music event will screen on TVNZ+ and on TikTok on the public holiday, with performances from iconic New Zealand musicians from Six60 to Muroki, Maisey Rika, RIIKI Reid, Kings, Drax Project, Rob Ruha, and Theia & Te Kaahu. Each act will perform at least one song in te reo Māori.
Impossible: Stan Walker – Friday June 24
Stan Walker's Impossible will also be airing on TVNZ on the day, as the award-winning artist combines kōrero and waiata to mark Matariki.
Give Us a Clue – Matariki Special – Friday June 24
A special Matariki-inspired episode of Give Us a Clue hits screens on the public holiday, with Stacey Morrison, Miriama McDowell and Jennifer Ward-Lealand up against Pax Assadi, Vinnie Bennett and Tāmati Rimene-Sproat.
Beyond Matariki on Whakaata Māori
There's no better time than now to catch up on the series Beyond Matariki on Whakaata Māori - formerly Māori Television. On the series, Professor Rangi Matamua explores and explains Māori astronomy to viewers. Available on-demand on Whakaata Māori.
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.