During the last week of term, we will also be raising the Afghanistan flag to acknowledge our families who celebrate Eid. The Eid celebrated at this time of year is also known as Eid al-Adha, is a significant Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is an integral part of the Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place during the month of Hajj. The month of Hajj holds immense significance for Muslims around the world. It is a time when millions of Muslims embark on the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca to perform religious rituals and seek spiritual fulfillment. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It involves the sacrifice of an animal, typically a sheep, goat, or cow, symbolizing Ibrahim’s devotion and submission to God’s command. This act of sacrifice is performed by pilgrims as well as Muslims worldwide who are not undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage.
During the last week of term, we will be raising the Matariki flag. Our Kura will be learning more about Matariki during this week as a lead-up to this special day which will be celebrated on the 14th of July.
Matariki (Māori New Year) is a significant cultural event celebrated by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. The name “Matariki” translates to “eyes of god” or “little eyes” in the Māori language.
Traditionally, Matariki marks the beginning of the Māori agricultural year. It is a time of reflection, remembrance, and celebration. The appearance of the Matariki star cluster is seen as a time for family and community to come together, honour their ancestors, and plan for the future.
During the Matariki celebrations, various cultural rituals and activities take place. These can include storytelling, waiata (songs), haka (traditional Māori dance), art exhibitions, feasting, and the lighting of bonfires or lanterns. It is also a time for Māori to connect with the natural world, with a focus on the land, sea, and sky.
In recent years, Matariki has gained greater recognition and popularity within New Zealand, with efforts to revive and promote its cultural significance. It is now officially recognised as a public holiday, providing an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to engage in Māori traditions and learn about the rich cultural heritage of New Zealand’s indigenous people.