Weka celebrates Matariki

Alex Kincaid with a glow stick, which was a fun feature of the Weka Winton Matariki celebration.

The children at Weka Winton celebrated a musical Matariki last week with shared kai before a moonlight trail through Ivy Russell Reserve.

Matariki is known as the star which welcomes the Maori New Year, and on Thursday, July 5 the children and families of Weka Winton early childhood centre gathered together to share in the cultural festivities and to foster a deeper understanding of Maori origins.

Weka Winton owner and managing director Rochelle Robins said a "huge turnout" enjoyed the event.

"It went really well, we had a fantastic evening."

Mrs Robins said the children who did forest visits throughout the term helped to set up a number of stations around the reserve with glow sticks, a rope walk with fairy lights, and hanging lanterns.

Because it was a musical Matariki celebration, there were foot pianos set up through the walk, a gathering drum with glow wands and ukulele and guitar players.

"It was just a wee journey. Quite a few families went around twice because they really enjoyed it," she said.

The evening also allowed the children to give respect to the whenua (land) and gain an insight into how they could care for the Papatuanuku (mother earth).

Mrs Robins said food was shared during the evening and the children had worked with the Home Economics class at Central Southland College to bake star-shaped biscuits which were handed out through the trail.

Mrs Robins said the children "definitely" had a great time marking Matariki.

"They loved the setting up of it just as much as the evening."


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