Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lucia Matariki calendars from the Government and a message from the Governor General

Here is a card that I received from the National Party NZ Government last month.

On the other side of the card is a calendar, starting from June 2012 and going until May 2013. This is apparently the Matariki year.

I would have thought that the date of Matariki would be highlighted on the calendar in bold or something, but no. The shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, today, is this "Matariki", by the way.

Here's a Matariki Message from the Governor General:

Kia ora, nga mihi ki a koutou. Greetings to all New Zealanders.

When Matariki kanohi iti, the tiny eyes of Matariki, rise on the North East horizon just before dawn, tracing the path of the rising sun, the M?ori New Year celebrations begin.

The Pleiades is a constellation that is well-known throughout the Pacific, and it has acted as an important navigation beacon for ocean voyagers throughout history. It defines where we live in the Southern Hemisphere, connecting us to the wider South Pacific. It signals the transition to a new beginning as we look ahead to Spring and the warmth of Summer.

Matariki is a unique celebration where we can all join together and be thankful for the good things, and also reflect on the difficulties of the past year. It is about learning from the past, and preparing for the future.

As a strong and connected nation of remarkably innovative, positive and passionate people, our strength lies in sharing our knowledge, celebrating our individual and collective achievements, and supporting each other in both the good times and the sad times.

While we have experienced difficult times during the last two years, the resilient spirit of all New Zealanders has been the pou that has, and will, continue to support our recovery.

Matariki whetu ki te Rangi

Tangata ora ki te Whenua

Pleiades stars in the Sky

People well-being on Earth

As Governor-General of New Zealand, I hope you all enjoy celebrating this unique event in the calendar of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM QSO

Looks like an attempt at manufacturing a "celebration" to me.

Meanwhile, the Maori Party has dropped their plan to make Matariki a national holiday, but might take it up again in the future.

I'll have to pay more attention this year as to whether or not Hekia sends out Christmas cards as well.

6 comment(s):

Ross Calverley said...

It is Lucia... I've asked a few people who are Maori of it and they didn't know of it.

Lucia Maria said...

Ross, that doesn't surprise me.

KG said...

Good to see the GG and the government have their priorities straight..../sarc

Seán said...

The event is not exactly screaming out "make me a public holiday" but at least it appears more relevant to NZ that Queens Birthday, maybe it should replace that as one of our designated paid days off?

Lucia Maria said...

No, Queen's Birthday is a part of our heritage. Matariki is invented, and seems to piggy-back onto the Winter Solstice, which the Steiner school my children used to go to many years ago loved celebrating. They tried to link it in with Christianity as well.

Seán said...

I don't think Matariki has any Christian link and if there is any spiritual aspect, it seems merely traditional. If anything it seems to signify the Maori new year.

Thus I would say that this is more symbolic of our heritage than Queen's Birthday, a paid day off taken for granted and barely celebrated. While the British influence on our history and heritage is known, I really fail to see why the (official) birthday of the reigning British monarch is cause for a public holiday in New Zealand. The proof is in the pudding.

Our public holidays need to be relevant, don't they?

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