Every week a New Zealand Blogging Community called #NZBloggers holds a weekly blog post challenge. This Week’s challenge is the theme Matariki. To find out more about getting involved or for checking out the other bloggers posts visit the #brunchclub website.
In New Zealand we are currently celebrating Matariki (The Māori New Year). Just like any new year it is a time to look back and be thankful for the year past and look forward to an exciting future. Traditionally it was also a time to remember those who had died in the past year but rejoice over the harvesting of the winter food supplies, which meant a bit of singing, dancing and feasting. Now thousands of people celebrate Matariki as New Zealand Thanksgiving.
Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars know in English as the Pleiades. These stars rise in late May, early June in New Zealand’s mid-winter. The Māori meanings behind the name literally mean ‘eyes of God’ or ‘little eyes’ and of course there is a wee Māori myth to tell the story of Matariki.
Some say that when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother were separated by their offspring, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became angry, tearing out his eyes and hurling them into the heavens. Others say Matariki is the mother surrounded by her six daughters, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-ā-rangi and Ururangi. One account explains that Matariki and her daughters appear to assist the sun, Te Rā, whose winter journey from the north has left him weakened. (Paul Meredith. ‘Matariki – Māori New Year’, Te Ara)
A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.
Anyway, history lesson over.
I believe that the old cliché that expressing your thoughts into spoken (or written) words is very powerful for your well-being when it comes to saying what you are thankful for. As Matariki is a celebration closely tied to thankfulness and Thanksgiving I thought I would share with you a few things that I have being really thankful for over the past 7 months since I last shared my Thanksgivings with you at Christmas.
I am thankful for….
Getting to spend more quality time with my cousin Rachel. We been able to spend quite a few days together and chat to each other every week. Although we have the bond of being cousins connecting us, we are now more like best friends too! We had such an awesome time together when I visited her in Ashburton and when we went to Ed Sheeran together. can’t wait to go visit her in Dunedin for my birthday next month!
Having the opportunity to travel to Australia with an old school friend earlier this year. I am so thankful for the experience I had as I grew a lot as a person over the 2 weeks we were travelling together. Plus I got to visit the amazing Blue Mountains and had a wonderful time (for the most part) wandering around the range for 7 hours
Finding a full-time position at my previous workplace. I am currently working full-time in a place where I really like my fellow co-workers which is such a big thing for me.
The opportunity to be a youth leader at my church’s youth group. I have had the privilege to be a leader to an awesome group of girls over the last year and a half. We had an awesome time together at our annual Easter Camp and they are just a pretty fabulous bunch of girls to hang out with. Also as a youth leader I am a part of a leadership team with some other pretty fantastic young people who are amazing leaders in their own go-given right. The are very supportive and I treasure their friendships.
But mostly I am thankful for having an awesome bunch of friends all of the New Zealand, and the world. I have been blessed with so many friendships of people over the years and this is the time in my life that I am really appreciating it.
What are you thankful for?