Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day when we have a couple of seconds less daylight than we did yesterday and will tomorrow.
It’s also getting to the end of Matariki:
Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or the Seven Sisters and what is referred to as the traditional Maori New Year. The Maori New Year is marked by the rise of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the New Year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June. Matariki events occur throughout New Zealand and the timing of the events varies depending on Iwi and geographical differences.
Some Iwi recognize and celebrate a different cluster of stars called Puanga or Puaka. Matariki, Puanga or Puaka are generally celebrated during the months of June and July. Common principles apply to all celebrations whether they are Matariki, Puanga or Puaka. The duration of events and activities varies from a few hours to two months. . .
Whatever we call it, mid winter is a good excuse for a celebration.
However, in the south the snow many people will be putting their energy into keeping warm and fed and looking after their stock so any festivities will have to wait.