Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Asia Knowledge Ministry of Education

Home navigation

New Year celebrations

In this section students have the opportunity to explore how different cultures celebrate New Year, and how those celebrations have changed in response to interaction.

Best Evidence Synthesis (BES)

  • Community - through participating in group work students will decide how to allocate tasks. The learning gained through group work will build shared understandings.
  • Alignment - identifying prior knowledge by finding out what students know about New Year celebrations.

Developing the key competencies


  • Participate and contribute, and relate to others, through group work.
  • Develop critical thinking while developing understanding of the impact of cultural interaction, and its relationship to New Year celebrations.
  • Construct knowledge by interpreting information provided in a website.
  • Use language skills to present information in a speech form.

Ka Hikitia: Broad student outcomes

  • Māori learners realise their cultural distinctiveness and potential by sharing their knowledge and understanding of cultural significant events.
  • Māori learners successfully participating and contributing to te Ao Māori by involvement in teaching other students about Matariki.

Social inquiry links overview


Social inquiry overview 4.pdf  1 MB

Finding out information

  • How is New Year celebrated in South East Asia?
  • What customs and traditions are followed in these celebrations? Are there similarities between these celebrations? Why?
  • What is Matariki?
  • How is Matariki celebrated in New Zealand?

Exploring values and perspectives

  • What values are celebrated in New Year festivities in South East Asia?
  • What values are reflected in Matariki celebrations?
  • How are these values fostered in each case?

Considering responses and decisions

  • What evidence of past cultural interactions can be seen in these celebrations?
  • How has migration spread knowledge and practice of South East Asian New Year celebrations?
  • How is the modern celebration of Matariki in New Zealand society a reflection of cultural interaction?

Reflecting and Evaluating

  • How may public New Year celebrations from diverse cultures influence New Zealand society?
  • Why do you think the celebration of Matariki has recently experienced a revival?


The following activities explore the celebration of New Year from different cultural perspectives.

  • New Year Celebrations In South East Asia: Using the question guidesheet and working in groups, students gather information on how New Year is celebrated in one South East Asian country, that is Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar. Students then form expert groups to share this information with classmates.

Expert groups then discuss the following questions:

  1. What similarities/differences are there in the ways these countries celebrate New Year?
  2. Why are there similarities in these celebrations?
  • Matariki: Using the Te Ara exhibition on Matariki and the question sheet, students prepare a speech to present to visiting international students, explaining the Matariki celebration. Depending on time constraints, some speeches could be presented to the class, or shared in small groups.

Students then discuss the following questions:

  1. How is the modern celebration of Matariki in New Zealand society a reflection of cultural interaction?
  2. Why do you think the celebration of Matariki has recently experienced a revival?

Resource links

New Year celebrations in South East Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma)


Web links




Return to top

Site map