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A Huge Program Has Been Announced for Matariki Festival 2018

Mark the arrival of Māori New Year with a massive street party, gourmet hāngi and an illuminated parade.
By Stephen Heard
June 11, 2018
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A Huge Program Has Been Announced for Matariki Festival 2018

Mark the arrival of Māori New Year with a massive street party, gourmet hāngi and an illuminated parade.
By Stephen Heard
June 11, 2018
  shares

In Māori culture the dawn of a new year aligns with the rise of the Pleiades constellation — otherwise known as Matariki. Appearing late May through June, the constellation was once used for navigation and timing the seasons. Now, it's recognised as a time to honour Aotearoa's Māori identity, to reflect, look forward and connect with friends and whānau.

To mark the occasion, every year Auckland Council presents Matariki Festival — a three-week program of events. This year's festivities will run from 30 June – 22 July across Tāmaki Makaurau with film screenings, street festivals, thought-provoking exhibitions, glow-in-the-dark puppet shows, and Māori art workshops.

The festival's opening weekend will begin with the Matariki Dawn Karakia on Saturday 30 June as host iwi Te Kawerau a Maki commemorate those who have passed, acknowledge those who remain and welcome in the Māori New Year with karanga, waiata and haka.

Food experiences appear throughout this year's program. You can spend a full day learning how to forage, harvest and cook edible native plants, listen to waiata while enjoying Māori street food and sample a gourmet take on the hāngi with pit master Rewi Spraggon and four acclaimed chefs from The Tasting Shed, The Grounds, Farina and Baduzzi.

Manu Aute Kite Day will see kites of all shapes and sizes symbolically connect the realms of the heavens and earth; street festival Te Korakora will take over Federal Street with live performances Māori-inspired food and traditional music and dance.

The after-hours entertainment will continue on 21 July as a posse of illuminated bikes, wheelchairs and skateboards roll along the waterfront as part of aerial dance-theatre, InMotion Matariki. Presented by inclusive performing arts company, Touch Compass, the parade will make its way from Silo Park to The Cloud.

Other highlights include Matariki light shows Stellar at Smales Farm, Matariki on the Waterfront and the Te Ara Rama Light Trail, a celebration of Māori women in film, and predawn stargazing.

For more information about Matariki Festival and the full program, visit matarikifestival.org.nz.

Published on June 11, 2018 by Stephen Heard

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