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Monday, June 30, 2008

Matariki holiday - today?

Re the Matariki Day public holiday idea. Scratch Queen's birthday. Insert Matariki Day - but not on the first Monday of June. It doesn't feel right then. Too soon. It's got to be at the beginning of the middle of Winter and certainly not more than a few days after the middle of winter. I don't know the dates at which the Matariki can be viewed as it rises above the horizon - I've no idea about how different Iwi used to mark the new year.

I think that calendar dates such as Easter that are calculated with some sort of star chart and an algorithm and can yield dates a month apart, are to be avoided. So given that I'm mainly concerned with the timing in terms of a schedule of public holidays that conforms to our own seasons and is reflective of our national heritage, Matariki in mid to late June seems appropriate. The shortest day is June 20-23 and reflects the solstice that is marked by most cultures.

I mentioned in that 2005 post:

To replace Queen's Birthday: "Matariki/Winter Festival"
On second weekend of June on Monday


The Maori New Year is perhaps another way to look at it than merely a Winter festival - and the date seems a bit too early. Given that by removing Queen's Birthday holiday we have a very long wait till Labour Day (even if it was moved forward to early October as part of a Spring Festival double-ended long weekend) placing the Matariki holiday late in June creates a more even time spacing between well-needed public holidays. The last possible day for it would be today. The last day of June and the last Monday of June. Perhaps the last Monday of June?

7 Comments:

At 30/6/08 7:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No - doesn't work. You're just replacing one irrelevant holiday for another irrelevant holiday. I'd rather not have to celebrate some star cluster telling me to plant my crops. Just doesn't mean anything to me.

 
At 30/6/08 7:53 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

Yeah - does work.

You're just replacing one irrelevant holiday for another irrelevant holiday.
- It is more relevant than the religious holidays, but arguably less relevant than a national-type day (Waitangi Day).

I'd rather not have to celebrate some star cluster telling me to plant my crops.
- and maybe things like the end of the financial year don't actually deserve to be celebrated as a holiday. Maybe, like every other public holiday, you don't have to celebrate it as such. Natural events and cycles are not arbitrary like the other days marking human events. Not everyone lives an urban lifestyle totally disconnected to nature. It has historical significance. Besides, is it worse than marking when the baby Jesus was born, when baby Jesus got nailed up and when baby Jesus gets reserected?

Just doesn't mean anything to me.
- At the moment yes. In the future will it mean anything to other people? Perhaps even more than some other holidays - yes.

 
At 1/7/08 9:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster above why replace a holiday marking a pointless heridetry rulers official birthday with one marking the appearance of a star cluster and stone age belief that this has some spiritual significance. But hey any excuse for a party and an extra day off.

All public holidays are essentially meaningless. They're just crumbs thrown down by the boss class to stop quite so many workers going nuts.

Argox

 
At 1/7/08 2:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly most people in this country dont care fuck all for maoris or their stupid sing a long rights. they got their land back, everyones happy now, we all like the queen and thats how it will stay, despite all the com by ya singing in the world!

 
At 1/7/08 5:27 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

marking the appearance of a star cluster and stone age belief that this has some spiritual significance.
- I thought it was the opposite of spiritual. Just because it's Maori doesn't make it spiritual. I doubt the spirit world has anything to do with it. I don't think agricultural and seasonal occasions really have much of a spiritual element.

 
At 2/7/08 1:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Matariki is a spiritual period. It is the start for all things new, a time for regeneration, growth and
preparation. It is also a time to remember whakapapa (genealogy) and those who have passed away." - http://www.wintech.ac.nz/files/mywintec/maoriatwintec/Matariki/WhatIsAMatariki.pdf

"During the weeks of Matariki, all activities are tapu, and take on great spiritual importance." - http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/TePapa/English/AboutTePapa/Media/MediaReleases/2002/Matariki.htm

http://www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/maori/matariki_m/index.shtml

Seems pretty 'spiritual' to me?

 
At 10/7/08 11:49 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

I'm an atheist - I think that might have something to do with why I don't understand "spiritual". My impression was it is a seasonal celebration with other stuff attached - like how Christians hijack certain festivals. I don't think that is the primary element. *gulp* could I be wro.., no I can't say it.

 

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