Matariki marks the start of the Māori Lunar New Year.
Signified by the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in the night sky, it’s a time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and new beginnings.
Matariki was traditionally used to determine the coming season's crop indicated by how bright the stars were.
We chat to Thermomix® New Zealand Consultant Zina Manu about the role that food from the garden, forest, sea and fresh water plays in the celebration and how she’ll be using Thermomix® to create her menu. Scroll to the bottom to celebrate Matariki in true Thermomix® style too and join Zina and her team in an exclusive online cooking-class.
What does Matariki mean to you?
For me, the rising of Matariki is a time where I remember my loved ones who have passed on, reflect on the year that has passed, and set new goals for myself for the year ahead. I am so excited to be celebrating our first-ever public holiday acknowledging Matariki this year too!
What is the connection between Matariki and kai (food)?
The best way I can describe the connection is through three Matariki Whakatauki (Māori proverbs) from Māori cultural astronomy academic Dr Rangi Matamua:
“Matariki ahunga kai” refers to huge piles of kai. This whakatauki speaks to the bringing together of our family and friends and having a feast with kai.
“Whetū here kai mai” refers to the stars that will bring us the essence of food every year. We look to these stars of Matariki to see how abundant our kai will be from our gardens, forests, fresh water and sea.
The last whakatauki is “Matariki pātaka nui” which means “Matariki — the great storehouse in the sky that is filled with kai”. We look towards these stars in the hope that we will have a plentiful year with heaps of kai.
“Be inspired to cook kai with your whanau and friends, say thank you to Matariki and connect back to the environment.” – Zina
How do you celebrate Matariki with kai?
We do this by going out and gathering kai and offering it to Matariki as the star rises. The specific kai we collect is from the garden (kumara), the forest (tītī or chichen), fresh water (eel or any fresh water fish) & sea (fish).
We choose this kai specifically to connect us back to our environment. You can cook kai from all parts of the environment or just choose one part of our environment and cook that kai. It is totally up to you.
We then cook our kai and when it is ready and Matariki rises in the morning – we take the lid off our kai and we let the steam rise and while the steam is rising - we say “thank you” back to our environment.
Zina’s Cookidoo® menu to celebrate Matariki
Zina Manu descends from Mangamuka and Samoa. Prior to owning a Thermomix® she admits to hating cooking. One year on it has totally changed her relationship with kai and she has gone on to become a Thermomix® Consultant to continue her passion for making amazing kai quickly and easily in the kitchen.
Cook with us
Te hunga Ngatahi (Raeleen de Joux Ngāti Kurī / Te Rarawa, Carla Nō Ngāruahine-Rangi me Ngāti Tama and Zina Nō Mangamuka au) hosted a Matariki-inspired online cooking class.
Watch and cook-along on Youtube here.
Visit our Events page for more upcoming events.