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Tīrama Mai | Celebrating Mātāriki in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Why you shouldn’t miss this brilliant, bedazzling, big bunch of happiness!

Tīrama Mai | Celebrating Mātāriki in Ōtautahi Christchurch. - 1Tīrama Mai | Celebrating Mātāriki in Ōtautahi Christchurch. - 2Tīrama Mai | Celebrating Mātāriki in Ōtautahi Christchurch. - 3Tīrama Mai | Celebrating Mātāriki in Ōtautahi Christchurch. - 4

As darkness descends over Christchurch CBD, the inner city comes to life. Parents hang on to excited unruly kids as they hurry to see everything at once. There’s squeals of delight and broad smiles all round.

Riverside Market is a bustling plethora of delicious aromas, illumination and street culture. Families and groups of friends perch at massive outdoor picnic tables, feasting on a selection of multi cultural cuisine. Alongside is a magical forest of colour guarded by a trio of Daleks. A group of child warriors with lightsabers approach ready for battle. Imaginations run wild!

On the banks of the Avon a group of spooky nocturnal eyes pop open at random, complete with all the ‘tweets’ and ‘hoots’ you’d hear in a forest at night. Somewhere in there, there’s a Kookaburra!

At the corner of Oxford & Worcester an imposing Robert Scott Memorial looks like it’s just dropped in off the ice, glittering with sparkling snow like flashes. Behind the sculpture a lively fountain gushes all the colours of the rainbow.

Mysteriously, little lanterns waft aboard silent punts adding wonder to ambience. 

At Victoria Square, arbors of gently changing light illuminate the walkway leading to historic monuments and more alluring installations. Water features are irradiated in pastels gifting resplendent reflections in the pools below. Every sight and sound evokes conversation – and smiles. There's so much to see, hear and marvel at. 

Hats, coats and gloves required. Entry is free. 


Tīrama Mai runs until Saturday 10 July, between 6pm & 11pm every night. We’ve covered a snippet, but there’s plenty more to see and experience, including displays at other inner city sites and New Brighton Beach. The festival will be concluding there with a fireworks display on Saturday, July 10 from 6.30 p.m. See highlighted web link for detailed information.

[Mātāriki signals the Māori New Year. It is a time of renewal and celebration in New Zealand that begins in late June with the rising of the Mātāriki star cluster]


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