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Lyttelton, portal to Canterbury’s historic past, a vibrant sustainable community creating a living future

Project Lyttelton's Festivals



Ka Awatea - A celebration of Matariki will be returning in 2021

Matariki celebrations are at the heart of Lyttelton’s winter festival.
Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters and its appearance above the horizon mid-winter marks the Māori New Year.

Project Lyttelton is delighted to be collaborating with local iwi Ngāti Wheke, to present a range of activities and opportunities to learn more about Matariki themes of connection, renewal, tradition, culture and community. 

The new festival replaces the much-loved Festival of Lights which ran for 14 years.

The Matariki celebrationsl bring us back to community and connection and over the week will feature a diverse range of events, installations and activities that celebrate the creativity, diversity, culture and values of the Lyttelton community.


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Lyttelton SummerFest 2021

The Lyttelton SummerFest is a series of local family-friendly events to bring people together through the arts, music and multi generational fun gatherings.

Keep an eye out for the 2021 programme!


Lyttelton Community Dinners

The time bank helps to organise a number of community dinners through the year. Follow our Facebook page here for up to date information.




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Most of our projects have their own facebook page. Search for the name of the project to like and follow it.

SummerFest facebook page

Like and follow to get more frequent updates on the Lyttelton SummerFest.

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Matariki Celebrations

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars which is visible in the New Zealand night sky at a specific time of the year. Matariki re-appears in the dawn sky mid-winter signalling the start of the Māori New Year and the date changes each year according to the Māori lunar calendar.

Whakaraupo Carving Centre tutor Caine Tauwhare from local hapu Ngāti Wheke talks about the significance and traditions of Matariki here