Last weekend we celebrated my husband's life. My three-year-old grandson learned in kindy about Matariki and told me that Opi is now a star in the sky.
That was such a lovely notion that I thought I share it with you. Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. It's visible in New Zealand in midwinter and marks the beginning of a new year.
Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea (The eyes of the god Tāwhirimātea’). In Māori mythology, the god of the wind, Tāwhirimātea, ripped his eyes out and threw them into heaven out of anger with his siblings for separating earth mother (Papatūānuku) and sky father (Ranginui).
As tradition goes, Matariki was a time to honor the dead and release their spirits to become stars. But Matariki is not only about the dead. It's a time to reflect, thank the gods for the harvest, celebrate and feast, and share one's bounty with family and friends.