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Matariki Rotorua 2022

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All Ages

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To honour Matariki being observed as a public holiday, Rotorua is hosting an umu kohukohu whetū on the shore of Lake Rotorua.

Locals, visitors, and the whole whānau are invited to attend the city’s inaugural Matariki civic ceremony at Motutara Point (Sulphur Point). This event will provide the public an opportunity to participate in an umu kohukohu whetū ceremony - a traditional way Māori exercised reciprocity with the atua and stars.

An umu is made with different food which relate to the individual stars of Matariki. When the kai is cooked, it is placed on a tūāhu (platform), and the essence is enveloped into the steam. As the steam rises it feeds the stars of Matariki.

As part of the ceremony, people can speak the names of loved ones who passed the previous year and the names will travel upwards to become stars. It is part of the grieving process, and by saying their name, we are wishing them farewell as they make their journey home.

Please allow 20 minutes to walk to the ceremony location from parking within the Government Gardens.

A free return shuttle will be available for kaumātua/elderly between the carpark and ceremony location.

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