Happy Matariki!

Matariki is the Maori new year. It means “eyes of god” or ” little eyes” in Te Reo Maori and is also the name of the star grouping called Pleiades. Matariki coincides with the winter solstice in New Zealand. Though celebrations had a brief hiatus in the 1940s, they are popular once again and marked by kite flying. With remembrance of the dead and celebration of the abundance from the harvest, Matariki has earned the nicknames Halloween (more along the lines of its predecessor Samhain) and New Zealand Thanksgiving respectively.

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Travel to New Zealand at this time of year is bound to yield cheaper flights. Besides Matariki, museum visits and ski trips are popular winter activities for the traveller.

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