June 06, 2019
Parihaka shines on Puanga welcome
The community of Parihaka is waiting for a star to signal the change of the year – Puanga, also known as Rigel in the constellation of Orion.
Maata Wharehoka says Parihaka Puanga Kai Rau Festival gets bigger each year.
This year there's a bonfire on Friday night as the whanau get up before dawn to welcome with karanga and karakia the star as it rises over Maunga Taranaki.
"It comes up above that maunga, it's got this beautiful glow about it, it's just so bright. It tells us to herald the winter and to embrace doing the things we need to do, like we've got a big mara here and thsat star tells us that's what we've got to do. It's totally beautiful," Ms Wharehoka says.
After welcoming the star the community will sit down for a big breakfast before getting out to prepare the gardens, hold wānanga on aspects of traditional life such as growing kumara or eeling, and prepare for a night of music and entertainment.