New Zealand celebrates Māori New Year as an official public holiday for the first time

(CNN) For the first time, New Zealanders are enjoying an official public holiday this June 24 to celebrate Matariki -- also known as Māori New Year.
Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars, also known as the Pleiades, the rising of which is recognized by many of the country's Indigenous people as the start of the new year.
In a statement , the New Zealand government noted that this is "the first public holiday to recognize Te Ao Māori" or the Māori worldview.
The official holiday was established in April, with the passing of the Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Act.
The holiday is a time for honoring ancestors, celebrating the present by gathering together to give thanks, and looking forward to the new year.
New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released several videos explaining Matariki and the timing of the national celebration.
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