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Matariki Celebrations At Te Papa



Te Papa is celebrating Matariki, the Mäori New Year, with four weeks of free shows, lectures, and activities, beginning on Saturday 29 May.

Towards the end of May or early June each year, the star cluster Matariki - or Pleiades - appears in our dawn skies. The Mäori New Year begins with the first new moon after the first appearance of Matariki, and this year the new moon appears on 18 June. The bright star Puanga - or Rigel - emerges at about the same time, and for some iwi (tribes) it is the appearance of Puanga rather than Matariki that has significance and is celebrated.

Te Papa has adopted Matariki as an annual event, and as iwi all around the country mark this period with song, dance, feasting, and ceremony, Te Papa will host an exciting line-up of activities. These include a performance by double-platinum artist Anika Moa, regular programmes in Te Papa's mini-planetarium, and a weekend looking at the art of creating and playing traditional Mäori musical instruments.

For Te Papa, Matariki is an annual event that celebrates the indigenous calendar of Aotearoa. To commemorate Matariki, Te Papa Press has produced a Matariki calendar that runs from June 2003 until May 2005. The calendar is based on traditional knowledge of the seasonal cycle and looks at its significance to Mäori. Icon Catering is also offering a superb three-course Matariki dinner, featuring a talk by acclaimed Mäori chef, Charles Royal.


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