Every year, a cluster of stars known as the Pleiades begin to rise in the last few days of May, symbolising the coming of the Māori New Year, Matariki. Translating to ‘little eyes’ or ‘eyes of God’, it refers to when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children and the god of weather, Tāwhirimātea, tore his eyes out in anger, hurling them into the heavens. It is traditionally a time to remember those who have passed away, as well as determining the success of the coming harvest crop — the brighter the stars, the more productive the crop.
The mid-winter festivities that celebrate the rich history of the Māori world will take place at a slew of events across central Auckland, namely Silo Park‘s fifth annual festival. There will be Puna Kai (international street food with a Māori twist), live bands and waiata, market stalls and a Matariki Galaxy inside the silos designed by renowned lighting artist Angus Muir. Central to the celebrations, the exhibition will be free for the public to visit all day and night, taking the viewer on an immersive journey through thousands of light sources, mirrors and haze.
Taking place this Friday 30th June through until Sunday 2nd July, along with all the other sporting events of the moment, it seems the waterfront is where you’ll want to be for a captivating weekend of culture, kai and festivities.