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Matariki, the Maori New Year is fast approaching. Matariki is the name of the constellation also known as Pleiades or the seven sisters. It rises in the Southern sky in early July.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.

Marlborough District Library is opening late on June 19 in celebration of Matariki.

find out more about this event on our events page

Te Papa, The Museum of New Zealand have some great resources for home and classrooms. Their booklet on Matariki is a great fun and educational tool to help share Matariki with your whanau.

Go to Te Papa’s website to view the booklet

We also have some great titles in the library on Matariki, astronomy and the Southern night sky.

Go to our catalogue to look at titles on Matariki

Go to our catalogue to see titles on astronomy and the Southern Hemisphere night sky

Or take a look at some of our picks of titles on Matariki…

Matariki, the star of the year by Rangi Matamua 394.26 MAT

What is Matariki? Why did Māori observe Matariki? How did Māori traditionally celebrate Matariki? When and how should Matariki be celebrated? There has been a resurgence of interest in and celebration of Matariki, and this book provides accessible information about its meaning and significance, how to locate Matariki and when, traditional customs and knowledge regarding Matariki and current-day practices.

See if Matariki, the star of the New Year is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Tawhirimātea : a song for Matariki by June Pitman-Hayes Book & CD set

Sing along to this catchy Matariki song celebrating Earth, sky, seasons and whānau. It's our very own Aotearoa, from forest to seashore, dawn light to starry night

See if Tawhirimatea: A song for Matariki is available on our catalogue or place a hold

The Seven Kites of Matariki by Calico McClintock Picture Book

Ururangi is the youngest of seven sisters. In celebration for Matariki, each of the sisters are making kites and Ururangi is finally old enough to make her own kite. But as the seven sisters sleep on a hilltop the kites are whipped away by the naughty east wind. Can Ururangi finds the kites before her sisters wake?

See if The Seven Kites of Matariki is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Listen to The seven Kites of Matariki on RNZ’s Treasure Chest

Night Skies Above New Zealand by Vicki Hyde 520

Matariki is all about star gazing. Find out when the Pleiades/Matariki constellation will rise in the sky and what it looks like, along with other constellations that may be visible in the southern hemisphere’s winter sky.

See if Night Skies Above New Zealand is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Night-reading at the Library

In celebration of Matariki, Marlborough District Library (Blenheim) is holding a Nightreaders event in June. The Library will stay open late from 6 - 8 pm on Tuesday 19 June for reading, music, crafts and more.

Nightreaders is for the whole family. Let the kids come in their pyjamas and choose books in the Children's Library as the sun goes down while you browse downstairs.

Go to our events page to see more about the Nightreaders event.