From early June, before sunrise, in the skies above the northeastern horizon you will see a small cluster of stars known colloquially as the Pleiades. But to us New Zealanders, it’s known as Matariki.
Matariki symbolises the start of the Māori New Year - a coming together of past and present. It is a time where people, whānau, and communities gather to reflect on the year that has passed, remember loved ones we have lost, celebrate with our friends and family, and hope for a bountiful year. At its core, Matariki is an authentic and homegrown celebration of who we are, where we are now and planning for the year ahead.
Each year, as the story goes, Matariki and her daughters travel across the sky to visit their kuia, Papatūānuku - earth mother. During the visit the granddaughters each share their unique abilities with their grandmother, who in turn passes her knowledge on to them. Each of their abilities is a symbol for something we can all use for the coming year.
Matariki embodies everything we love about our mums. Their endless support, encouragement for everything we do, and their constant umbrella of aroha. This year let’s pass those values on to others - because the last few years have been tough enough.
Waitī and Waitā are the twins who work together to look after our littlest creatures; the ones that make things tick. The ones we cannot live without. Their teamwork encourages us to join in and care for each other.
Waipuna-ā-rangi is the keeper of our oceans, lakes, and rivers. She gives us rain to drink and water to feed the plants - Papatūānuku shows how fallen rain evaporates and returns to the sky. From Waipuna-ā-rangi we are reminded that if you give to others, all that kindness will come right back to you.
Tupuānuku represents the soil that grounds us and is the nurturer of our wellbeing. She is the shoulder that gently nudges us into caring for ourselves and reminds us that it is just as important as caring for others.
Tupuārangi epitomises the joy that floats around us. If you feel it, catch it with both hands and hang on tight.
And lastly, Ururangi represents the pitter patter of excitement we feel when achieving our goals. She is the go getter, the one we should strive to be.
Matariki means many things too many different people, but at the heart of it all lies the idea of togetherness. So, to celebrate Matariki this year, let’s enjoy a mid-winter feast with loved ones. Let’s play games and share stories from the past year. Let’s light a candle to reflect on memories. Let’s plant a tree and give life back to our dear planet. Let’s write down goals and try to actually achieve one of them. And most importantly, let’s be kind to ourselves and one another, because everyone knows we deserve it.
Recipe: Lamb Cutlets On Farro With Mint, Spinach & Baby Roast Vegetables
Is there any combination more classic than lamb, mint and peas? The classic Kiwi roast gets a makeover.
12–18 small French trimmed lamb cutlets
⅓ cup olive oil
3 sprigs rosemary
2 cups farro
1 cup picked mint leaves
12–18 baby carrots, bigger ones halved lengthways
4 small parsnips, peeled and cut to match carrots in size
12 pickling onions, peeled
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup roughly chopped parsley
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup natural yoghurt
1 small clove garlic
7 cups baby spinach leaves
sea salt and ground pepper
Get the full Recipe by Sarah Tuck here