Matariki Fes­ti­val starts

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

Waikato fam­i­lies can learn more about the cul­tural significance of Matariki by at­tend­ing one of the many pub­lic events cel­e­brat­ing this time of year.

Ma¯ ori New Year cel­e­bra­tions have be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, with with events hap­pen­ing na­tion­ally.

Lo­cal Matariki events pro­vide a fun op­por­tu­nity for in­ter­ac­tive ex­plo­ration with ac­tiv­i­ties rang­ing from per­for­mance nights, kite fly­ing day, Ma¯ ori art ex­hi­bi­tions, Matariki night mar­ket, Matariki menu challenge and much more.

The or­gan­iser of the Matariki Kite Fly­ing Day at the Hamil­ton Gar­dens on June 24, Mar­leina Ruka, says the fam­ily event al­lows many Hamil­ton and over­seas visi­tors to en­gage with kau­papa Ma¯ ori.

“The whole fam­ily may be hav­ing fun fly­ing and weav­ing kites, but they are also gain­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of Matariki and what that means.”

With a va­ri­ety of free ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer at venues such as the Hamil­ton City Li­brary, the Waikato Mu­seum, Cre­ative Waikato and Tai Wa¯ nanga Ruakura there is plenty for the com­mu­nity to get amongst.

Whiti is an open mic night that cel­e­brates re­gional per­for­mance tal­ent and has pre­vi­ously fea­tured lo­cal singer song­writ­ers, dancers and spo­ken word poets.

“In te reo, Whiti means to shine,” Era Pei­hopa from Cre­ative Waikato says.

“So this event is a plat­form cel­e­brat­ing the ‘shin­ing stars’ that per­form on the night. Each year the standard of tal­ent in our own back­yard blows the au­di­ence away”.

The Matariki Fes­ti­val open­ing event is or­gan­ised by Friends of the Hamil­ton Gar­dens and is called Karanga o te Tau Hou.

This event is cel­e­brated on the near­est Fri­day to hon­our King Korok¯ı’s birth­day.

The spe­cial dawn cer­e­mony was held to­day in Te Para­para Gar­dens (Hamil­ton Gar­dens) at 6am.

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