Our Matariki celebrations have begun. Matariki is the star constellation also know as the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. Matariki is visible in our New Zealand sky normally around late May and early June.
Once a year, twinkling in the winter sky just before dawn, Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Māori New Year. Traditionally, it was a time for remembering the dead, and celebrating new life. In the 21st century, observing Matariki has become popular again. Heaven-bound kites, hot-air balloons and fireworks help mark the occasion.
This You Tube clip explains a Maori legend surrounding Matariki.
Our Mountaineers Discovery session included several Matariki themed activities:
Sensory play with glitter playdough.
This piece of star bread was judged too delicious and was eaten before it could be cut into a star. (We used sugar coloured with food colouring for the sprinkles on our bread.)
Stamping with paint.
We made our kites with plastic bags and a piece of string. Traditionally Maori kites were made to celebrate Matariki because they flutter close to the stars. Our kites didn't fly quite that high but the children had a great time running with their kites.