Matariki celebrations held in many ways
Matariki, also known as Maori New Year, is an important time of year for many Maori and the celebration is becoming increasingly significant in Aotearoa to all Kiwis.
It is the time of year when the cluster of stars known a Pleiades rises which is normally in late May or early June.
This year Matariki officially began on the June 18 when the New Moon rises but typically is celebrated within a few weeks of the rising stars.
Traditionally Matariki is a time of harvesting the winter vegetables and preparing the garden for the summer crops, a time of reflection and celebrating new beginnings.
It is a time to reflect on the year that has been – including your gains and your losses.
Matariki is also a good time to reflect on the health and wellbeing of you and your whanau [family].
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day activities of school, work and sport trainings so it is important to take time out and take stock of your health.
Eating healthy and exercising daily isn’t as easy it sounds for some but your immune system will thank you for it.
Vegetable soups are an easy and delicious way of getting those much needed antioxidants in your diet.
Exercising on those wet miserable days can still be achieved through some body resistant exercises [push ups, squats, sit ups etc] in the comfort of your own home and if you still have energy to burn, there is always the South Waikato Indoor Pools to consider.
After running your laps in the teach pool or swimming lengths in the main pool you can relax in the lovely heated spa pool.
Another way to look after your health and wellbeing is to have fun.
Matariki happens at a time of year when the weather is wet and cold, so you could also take advantage of the windy weather and fly a kite.
Kites are easy enough to make and could be made indoors on those ugly wet days.
You could also take some time to practise those forgotten skills of knuckle bones, board games and string games.
Many of our schools and early childhood centres in South Waikato are celebrating and learning about Matariki. Central Kids Kin- dergarten Paraonui prepared early and received a Maori games workshop from the Under 5 Energiser – Jamie George.
Central Kids Kindergarten Paraonui educators had loads of fun and invited Jamie along to the kindergarten to teach the tamariki some Maori games and activities.
The tamariki learned about poi toa [warrior poi], rakau [sticks games] and nga mahi a ringa [hand games].
Paraonui is planning to use the Maori games at their marae visit to Pikitu Marae.
Matariki it is always a good time of year to reflect on health goals that are started on January 1 every year.