Ngā marama o te tau
The months of the year
How do you say Month in Māori?
- Marama = Month
Marama also means moon as the traditional Māori calendar month was based on the cycle of the moon.
What are the months of the year in Māori?
The months in Māori are:
- Kohitātea – January (also Kohi-tātea)
- Hui-tanguru – February (also Huitanguru)
- Poutū-te-rangi – March (also Poutūterangi)
- Paenga-whāwhā – April (also Paengawhāwhā)
- Haratua – May
- Pipiri – June
- Hōngongoi – July
- Here-turi-kōkā – August (also Hereturikōkā)
- Mahuru – September
- Whiringa-ā-nuku – October
- Whiringa-ā-rangi – November
- Hakihea – December
Did you know that first month of the Māori year is Pipiri? (June)
The new year begins in June with the rising of the Matariki star cluster (known as Pleiades in English).
Kupu arotau (loan words)
Before 1990, the following kupu arotau (loan words from English) were used as a direct translation of the months in English.
- Hānuere – January
- Pēpuere – February
- Māehe – March
- Āperira – April
- Mei – May
- Hune – June
- Hūrae – July
- Ākuhata – August
- Hepetema – September
- Oketopa – October
- Noema – November
- Tīhema – December
With this version of the months in Māori you can almost hear the English equivalent.
You may still hear this version of the months used though it is becoming less are less common as the first group of words are used more, and are preferred, nowadays.
If you are interested in learning about the history of the name of the months in Māori and the regional differences, then I recommend the following: The Māori Division of Time (Victoria University of Wellington Library)
Try our quiz: Months in Māori – Language Game
Can you get 24 out of 24 correct?