Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Sudden Endings

It seems like just yesterday I was thinking how quickly the year had gone, already we are half way through. And today, I'm getting emails announcing Matariki - the Maori New Year. So the year has in fact ended already! This is a time to honour those who have passed away and to look to Matariki (The Pleiades) at dawn in the east to see if they foretell a season of abundant food (hopefully at lower prices). There are a few Matariki celebrations happening in Invercargill and one happening later in the month at Riverton (more on that later).

Another annual ending happens on 21 June at 11:59am, the Winter Solstice. This day signals the virtual standstill of the sun as it changes its apparent direction from having ventured as far in its northern latitudes as it can go (23 degrees 26'). It is also known as the longest night of the year.

Cultures all over the world acknowledge the importance of the Winter Solstice, and many use the symbolic power of the sun's standstill to intentionally lay the old year to rest. Some of these rituals are even practiced at Stonehenge. I've often thought Holt Park would make a great home for a replica of Stonehenge. But I digress... Here are some things I'd like to say goodbye to with the old year: the high price of cheese, the high price of petrol, and my use of plastics. May the new year bring positive changes in all our lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If New Zealand starts a new year every six months, that would make me 92.