Tīrama Mai lights the way to Matariki in Ōtautahi

By Te Ao - Māori News

Tīrama Mai lights the way to Matariki. Credit: YouTube.com/Christchurch City Council Civic Offices

The inaugural Tīrama Mai lighting event in June will celebrate Matariki - the Māori New Year -at the centre of Christchurch and in New Brighton.

Canterbury's best lighting artists will have their works up across zones in both the city centre and New Brighton from Friday, June 25 until Saturday, July 10.

Christchurch City Council events and arts manager Tanya Cokojic says lighting events in the city have been popular in the past and it makes sense to have a festival that marks New Zealand’s own unique culture and complements other Matariki events in the city.

“Tīrama Mai, meaning to illuminate or bring light, is the first time we have held a lighting event specifically to coincide with Matariki. We want it to grow to become a highly collaborative festival, with mana whenua guiding cultural elements and design,” she says.

The lighting trails will be for all to explore from 6pm to 11pm every night, across places like the Arts Centre, Victoria Square and Otakaro Avon River Precinct. 

Panels telling the story of Matariki will be put up in the central city a couple of weeks before the event starts, and it will end with a Matariki fireworks display on the last day in New Brighton.