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

Project Lyttelton's Festivals

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Ka Awatea - A celebration of Matariki 

Matariki celebrations will be at the heart of Lyttelton’s new week-long 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 Winter Festival brings 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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Spring Festival of Change

Spring is a time for making changes. This festival encourages us all to think about a change we want to make and to give it a go, with support from others. We can share our learning, find out what is possible and learn to live in accord with our values. Spring challenges we have taken on include goals to do with waste, transport, food, health, exercise, wellbeing and social connection.

Cynthia  George on Onawe Hollie Hollander


Banks Peninsula Walking Festival

The Festival of Walking is held in and around Banks Peninsula in November each year. Up to 50 walks are scheduled from level downtown Lyttelton to the high tops of Mt Herbert. 

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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