Matariki marks the celebration of the Māori New Year, the start of which is literally written in the stars.
It begins tonight -- the first new moon after the rise of the seven-star cluster of stars -- with celebrations taking place across the country for the next month.
But what is it and what did it symbolise?
The cluster has a long history with human civilisation, including being used for navigation. It's known by names such as Pleiades, Subaru, the Seven Sisters and Tianquiztli.
The stars are also known by different cultures including the Aztecs, Maya, Persians, Chinese, Indians, Australia's Aborigines, Cherokee of North America and Norse Vikings.
It was mentioned as far back as the Bible, in Chinese literature from around 2350BC and in Homer's epic poems The Odyssey and The Iliad.
In New Zealand, Matariki is a celebration of people, culture, language and history.
Before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, Matariki used to mark the end of the harvest season where storage houses were filled with food and the land at its least productive.
It was also a sign for navigators that the weather would be safe for long voyages.
In pre-European times, the celebration was popular among Māori, but became gradually less of an event. However, in the early 2000s, the Māori Language Commission, the Ministry of Education and Te Papa started working to bring it back to prominence.
Matariki can be translated in two ways -- Mata Riki, meaning 'Tiny Eyes', or Mata Ariki, meaning 'Eyes of God'.