Celebrating the Southern Seasons: Rituals for Aotearoa


Tandem Press, 1995; revised edition Random House, 2005. Brings together Maori, Celtic, Ancient European and Christian traditions for the eight seasonal points of the year. This book has become a classic text and is used in schools, theological colleges, by celebrants and any reader who wishes to create meaningful celebrations through the seasons of the year.



‘We meet at the sacred place of ritual . . . the roots of the oak touch the roots of the pohutukawa in sacred soil. And from here . . . we may begin the healing that makes productive and creative relationship possible [between Maori and Pakeha]’.

This pioneering book has now become a classic. It brings together Maori, European and Christian traditions, and suggests ways for celebrating the seasonal festivals in Aotearoa, so that all traditions are honoured and included. Since the book’s first publication, Matariki, the New Year celebration at Winter Solstice, has undergone a massive resurgence – and other seasonal festivities are springing up all over the country.  In the tenth anniversary edition of this unique work, author Juliet Batten sheds more light on customs, symbols and meanings attached to seasonal changes. She reports not only on forms of celebration that New Zealanders have inherited and found but also on those we have devised and adapted. And she suggests readings, myths and stories to enrich our high days and holidays, strengthening the book’s role as a valuable resource.


What readers are saying about Celebrating the Southern Seasons

 ‘I’m really enjoying the book, it helps me to earth here and to connect with the land and the seasons of Aotearoa, and I love the stories that are told in it.’

—Carla Rosseels, journalist-author


‘Juliet Batten’s well-researched book . . . reiterates her passionate appeal that we relocate ourselves spiritually in the South Pacific.’

—Paul Morris, Professor of Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, In NZ Books


‘A pioneering book.’



‘Awesome is Batten’s research in the examination of both European and Pacific origins. . . . with artistry, style, research and eloquence [she] reminds us that we live in our particular environment, [and] can be enriched by being part of it.’

—Maire Drager, Daily Telegraph

Additional information

Weight.470 kg


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