Matariki is the name given to the Mâori New Year as it is signalled by the rising of Matariki (‘tiny eyes’ or ‘eyes of God’), a small yet distinctive cluster of stars that appears in the north eastern pre-dawn sky in late May/early June each year. This symbol of new life and fresh beginnings is a time of reflection on one’s place in the world; an opportunity to reawaken old skills and/or foster new ones; and a chance to set fresh goals for the year ahead.

The Matariki festival is unique to Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Mâori tribes observe it with an array of traditions at varying times after the star cluster rising. However, the same cluster of stars can be seen from many parts of the world and is known by names such as PleiadesSeven SistersSuburu and Messier 45.