Today, June 21, is midwinter in the Southern Hemisphere and on Friday, June 24 we will have our first public holiday to mark Matariki, or the Māori New Year. The rising of the star cluster Matariki, also known as Pleiades (ancient Greece), Subaru (Japan) and the Seven Sisters, was for Māori a time for remembrance of those who have died in the past year, celebrating the present and looking to the future. Observation of the stars were used to predict aspects of the coming year, such as the weather and the likelihood of a good harvest. Click on the link to read more about the traditions of Matariki.
the afternoon full
of swooping birds –
first day of matariki
Kokako 23 (2015)
the price of kumara on the rise matariki
Kokako 26 (2017)
Read more about kumara, the sweet potato brought by early Polynesian settlers to New Zealand. This year it’s the price of cabbage that’s making the news, thanks mostly to the tornado that ripped through market-gardening areas in Horowhenua in May.
Having the year start in midwinter is, of course, natural for those in the Northern Hemisphere, but for the rest of us, our calendar year starts in high summer. Having lived north of the equator for several years, all I can say is that celebrating Christmas, particularly, in winter makes much more sense.
the sound of the tuning fork
goes on forever
naad anunaad anthology (2016)
scanning the cloudy night sky
for the twins
Fire in the Treetops anthology (2015)
Right on cue yesterday, the temperature fell dramatically during the afternoon with an icy feel to the air.
its own slant
on the weather
number eight wire anthology (2019)
the slow path
of the can opener
The Heron’s Nest 24.2 (2022)
winter solstice …
the reverse side
of her needlepoint
Another Trip Around the Sun anthology (2019)
For the next few days the Australian Haiku Society is hosting a Winter Solstice String, open to poets from anywhere in the world. Click on the link to visit the site.