Matariki – Happy Maori New Year

Wanaka local enjoy Matariki celebrationsMatariki is the constellation of stars known as the Plaiedes and also referred to as the Seven Sisters (In Greek Legend the Plaiedes were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione).  Matariki’s appearance in New Zealand skies marks the start of the Maori New Year. Traditionally these celebrations begin on the sighting of the new moon after the appearance of Matariki.

So, on a beautiful, still, but cold, evening Wanaka locals gathered on the shore of Lake Wanaka to celebrate Maori New Year. We were entertained by the local kapa haka group, Poilicious – poi fire dancers, and for a donation (koha) you could eat great feed of meat & veges. The New Year was welcomed with an awesome fireworks display.

See more photos on Flickr (see sidebar).