Matariki cel­e­bra­tions held in many ways

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

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.

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