What is Matariki
Matariki a constellation of seven stars in the sky and is visible at between the end of May and the end of June. Matariki can be translated as (Tiny Eyes) and Mata Ariki ( Eyes of God).
This is the time of year in which we celebrate the Māori New Year, within this time we remember the year that has gone, ancestors, growth and signals new beginnings.
Matariki is also a time in which we celebrate language and culture within New Zealand. We remember myths and legends which have been told over time past down from generation to generation.
Play to Learn Preschool Celebrations
We will be celebrating Matariki within Play to learn with several activities planned for the children to participate in.
The first being the making of a family tree where the children will be encouraged to remember and talk about their family along with parents being asked to be involved.
We are also going to be participating in the making of stars for our wall to signify the connection between those still here and those past. Along with the planting of new vegetables in our vegetable garden to signify growth and then lastly the reading of stories surrounding Matariki.
Ngaa tamariki have enjoyed learning about and experiencing Matariki over the past few weeks. We have been learning further about Maaori traditions, our own whaanau, cultural traditions, whakapapa and genealogy too. We have loved reading and learning the Sharon Holt Matariki storybook and discussing events that happen over Matariki and how they link to our events and learning within our centre, and at home too. Ngaa tamariki were excited and their mana and wairua was illuminating when they saw all of their kai contributions together for our big hakari. We could feel all of the aroha through the sharing of our kai which was prepared by all of our whaanau. We all had a korero/ hui in our centre and we celebrated our cultural diversity and ancestral heritage through a cultural parade and waiata.
Our ancestral heritage include: Dutch, Nuian, Maaori, European, Samoan, South African, African, Chinese, Russian, Scottish, English, Welsh, Filipino, Indian, Australian, Aboriginal and we enjoyed learning about our global identity on the world map too. We came dressed up in our cultural attire including Korowai, Dutch dress and Zwarte Piet, All Blacks and Super-Heroes, Farmer girl and boys, Lavalava and Maaori.
We enjoyed experiencing and trying special cultural delicacy including: sausage rolls, cheerios, brownies, roast lamb, meatballs, fruit platters, muffins, apple cake, Dutch spice cake (Peper Koek), pikelets, matariki marshmallows, pizza, lolly-cake, bacon and egg savouries, Russian potato salad, rice bubble cake, hummus and crackers with fresh vegetables, Indian pronthi bread and tropical fruit smoothie.