Matariki marks the start of the Māori New Year. It's time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and plan for the upcoming year ahead of us. This year, we’re wanting to spread some knowledge on how to locate the Matariki star cluster!
Using other identifiable stars, we’re going to help break down how to find the Matariki star cluster.
Looking east in the early morning sky (around 5-6.30 am), you’ll come across three stars in a row. This is most commonly known as Orion’s Belt or The Pot. Māori call this Tautoru.
Locate the middle star in Tautoru, above this you should see a bright star called Puanga.
Puanga is another star used to observe the new year, it varies between iwi’s what star they celebrate. Depending on geographical location, some iwi’s may not be able to see Matariki but instead Puanga.
Going left from Tautoru, you should see a pyramid shape in the sky, or Te Kokotā, the face of the Taurus bull.
Even further left you will see Matariki.
Image source: Paul Meredith, 'Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori - Cycles of life and death', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/5159/matariki-in-the-night-sky (accessed 11 July 2023)
Celebrate Matariki this year surrounded by your friends, family, or any loved ones in your life. You might want to host a dinner party, plan for the year ahead, or try to find the Matariki star cluster! Bring flowers into your home this Matariki with Interflora. Shop the collection and surprise them with flowers. Send flowers nationwide.
For more information on Matariki, head over to Te Papa’s website: https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/discover-collections/read-watch-play/matariki-maori-new-year