Matariki 2019 was a wonderful event this year owing to the team’s commitment to creating an authentic, heartfelt event for tamariki, and their whānau. The thought and planning that went into our celebration this year began for the teachers at the “Sacred Urge to Play” conference in May. The choice to utilise the primal element of fire took wary preparation, including risk analysis and informing parents of our ideas. We built our plans around this element deciding to have an open fire pit on our lawn. This led naturally to the idea of sitting around the fire in whānau groups eating a picnic tea.
Tamariki and their whānau were greeted to a wonderful light show beginning in our driveway, with candles, laser lights, solar lights and tea lights in paper bags. The Ngahere and the pathway there was lit up with solar lights and solar bollards. Tamariki loved exploring the playground lit only by fairy lights, their laughter and voices carried into the night. We acknowledged those who had passed away by offering each family a laminated star to write the name/s of people they wanted to remember at this time. The stars were then hung in our apple tree, which became a beautiful remembrance tree for the week.
As families left, a star-shaped cookie was offered and a bundle of hardy brassica seedlings given to acknowledge the time for winter planting. This event enabled us to connect with families and extended family members. A count up the next day discovered that 101 people attended our celebration. The positive comments and words of thanks from family members continued all week, the children’s excitement leading up to the event and after has indicated to the team that the event was heartfelt and hugely successful.
We finished our week with a special kai hākari of hot chippies for the tamariki on Tuesday.
Happy Matariki e te whānau, hari tau hou… Happy New Year!!