The Pleiades Star Cluster
The first public holiday in New Zealand to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday 24, June 2022. Matariki marks the reappearance of the Pleiades star cluster in the winter sky and the beginning of Māori New Year.
Māori people were tuned to what was happening in the sky, on the land and in the waters and these happenings are woven into their stories. There is a story which suggests that the spirits of those who died in the previous year become stars at this time.
So, Matariki is a time to remember the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future.
we thank you for the heavens which you have made, the moon and the stars which you have arranged.
We are grateful for all that is evoked in us when we consider the heavens in all its vastness and wonder.
Science is giving us many wonderful insights into the origin and evolution of the universe and for that we are grateful.
We give thanks also for the imaginative stories people tell about the stars that feed and nurture our souls.
By Fr Pat O'Shea - Lower Hutt