Thursday, June 2, 2011

Celebrating Matariki - Colourful Lanterns

Matariki is almost here!  Winter is officially too.  This mornings walk on the beach in the fine, crisp weather was refreshing and rejuvenating, evoking much reflection and gratitude for where we live, how we live and what we love.  And so is the meaning of Matariki - what an awesome time of year!

"During Matariki, we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua (land) on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.
Throughout Matariki, we learn about those who came before us. Our history, our family, our bones.
Matariki signals growth. It's a time of change. It's a time to prepare, and a time of action. During Matariki, we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give.
Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It's a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.
Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year."  (an explanation from The Maori Language Commission)

It really excites me that we in Aotearoa have an opportunity to reflect at this time of year on our past and future.  Almost six months from our summer New Year celebrations we get a chance to ignite or reignite our aspirations.

Matariki describes the dawning of the cluster of stars also known as Pleiades - the seven sisters.  From the Maori perspective they are a whanau of seven - Mother and six daughters.

This Mummy and her one daughter have been making lanterns as one way of celebrating Matariki.

The lanterns are glass jars, covered in torn tissue paper of various colours and lit by a tea light candle.  Beautiful and simple.  A great result can be achieved by someone as little as K or as old as her Mumma!!

Our lanterns light our dinner table and perch upon our night blue voile.  I have just started making my own voile, inspired again by the Steiner.  K just loves her colourful voile - to dance with, to dress up in, as blankets for her babies, to make huts.......and more!

This weekend will mark the beginning of Matariki celebrations with a new moon.  Why not make some lanterns to light your way while you star gaze or make a star shaped kite to fly or take a walk in our beautiful country and reflect on where we have come from and what our future might hold - our iti whanau will be x

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