‘Matariki’ the Maori New Year is a time to celebrate the harvest where extended family members arrive with fresh harvest produce to enjoy a special celebration. They celebrate this event with singing, playing games and gathering together.
As part of our Matariki celebration, teachers read the book of ‘Matariki’ to the children. Children also heard the song of ‘Matariki’ where they understood the pronunciation of words and learnt the meaning from the teacher. Children also made some patterns with strings which they have seen in one of the Maori books.
Teachers and children talked about the concept of whanau (family) and what family means which is central to Maori social structure. Whanau refers to family and extended family. The Whanau is a member of a hapu (sub-tribe), which is a member of an iwi (tribe). Children also drew pictures of ‘families’ and some of the favourite things they enjoy doing with them like going to beach, celebrating birthdays at home and going for parties.
On the day of our Matariki celebration we made special food. Kai/food is an important part of Matariki where people would gather to share entertainment and knowledge, along with yummy food. So on this special day, children were served with sausages, mashed potatoes and bread which they really enjoyed. Also they had coconut and banana fritters.
It was fun to celebrate Matariki with the awesome food.