Mānawatia a Matariki.

Rebecca Swindells (Taranaki) shares how she’ll be celebrating Matariki in 2022.

As a second-generation child born away from my papakāinga, and away from Te Ao Māori, I had no idea what Matariki was. It was in high school that I began my journey reconnecting and rediscovering Te Ao Māori.

Matariki, for me, is a time for reflection of the year that has gone, it is a time to remember those we have lost and a time to plan the year ahead based on the maramataka | Māori lunar calendar.

Matariki has shown me the importance of caring for ourselves, our whenua, and our taiao. The relevance of being able to harvest and sustain ourselves using correct techniques and timings to ensure we get the best results. During this time, I feel guided by the Matariki star Tupu-ā-Nuku – the whetū connected with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for kai.

How do we celebrate Matariki? As a whānau we celebrate by spending time together, telling stories and laughing (lots). We attend the local school and community events, making lanterns and other things together to gift to those we love. At mahi, we celebrate with some good kai and laughter too. This year is an extra special Matariki for me as I get to celebrate my birthday as well!