MATARII I NI’A, Polynesian season of natural abundance.

« Matari’i i ni’a » referred to the rise of pleiades constellation Eastward in the Polynesian sky, simultaneously with the sunset, around November, 20th. It is then visible until the month of May. This celestial signal marks the beginning of a new warm season of natural abundance « te tau ‘auhune », when Mother-Nature generously provides with fruits, tubers, breadfruits, fish, comforting the hearts of the Tahitians.

The Polynesian calendar is indeed divided into 2 main seasons: « te tau o’e » a time of food shortages, and « te tau ‘auhune » a period of abundance. From June 20th to November 20th, during « Matarii i raro », winds are cool, rain is rare and life becomes fragile. But when « Matarii » appears on the horizon, we know that rain will soon (if it’s not already there) water the crops and rivers will flow again : times of festivities has started.

Tahitians celebrate this high point in the calendar on the « marae » (sacred site or « temple ») by offering the first harvests to their « tupuna » (ancestors), to their « atua » (gods), and to their « fenua » (land). During those ceremonies, ‘Tupuna’ and ‘Atua’ are summoned; dances and prayers are performed… fires are lit up…and the magic happens! Now they can wear a new « ahu » (clothe) or a new skin and be also spiritually renewed with new energies.

A new lunar calendar can start up again in the Polynesian cosmogony. Ia Ora na i te Matahiti Api! Happy New Year!

Crédit photo : rwittich/Envato    &     Danee Hazama