“The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals.”
Siddharth Katragadda is an Indian American writer,
artist and engineer.
This year we have a new public holiday. The holiday is to celebrate Matariki. In Māori culture, Matariki is both the name of the Pleiades star cluster and of the celebration of its first rising in late June or early July. This marks the beginning of the new year in the Māori lunar calendar.
The first public holiday to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday 24 June 2022. “The Government has committed to ensuring Mātauranga Maori is at the heart of celebrations of the Matariki public holiday, and it will be a time for: Remembrance – Honouring those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki.”
Here in New Zealand we are working hard and making recompense for the way the indigenous people were treated in the past. We can never undo what has been done, but in small ways we are doing our best. So this new public holiday to celebrate the beginning of the Maori New Year is an acknowledgment of their place in our society.