There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st.
|January 1||New Year|
|January February||Chinese new year|
|February March||Polynesian Culture Festival, in Papeete, Place Vaite|
|5. March||Arrival of the first missionaries|
|Mid-April||Miss Bora Bora Beauty Contest|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|23-25 May||The arrival of the bounty is celebrated every two years.|
|June 29||Independence day|
|July 1st – 21||Around the day the Bastille was stormed on July 14th, La Fête, one of the largest art and cultural festivals in French Polynesia, is celebrated.|
|July 14||Bastille Day, French National Day|
|July August||Cultural Heiva, Polynesian fair in Papeete|
|end of August||Night of the Guitar and Ute, folk music of Tahiti|
|end of September||World Tourism Day|
|19.-26. October||Tahiti Carnival|
|end of October||Stonefish ceremony on Tahaa Isla|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|November||Armistice Day, Armistice Day|
|beginning of December||National Flower Day|
Regular sporting events
|January||Hinani Surf Tour; Surf competition in Tahiti at the world famous “Teahupoo breack”|
|in the middle of February||Thaiti Nui International Sunrise Marathon on Moorea, from Maatea to Paopoa|
|February||Tahiti Pearl Regatta; Sailing competition that starts on the leeward islands in Raiatea|
|at the beginning of March||International Billfish Tournament; Deep sea fishing competition on Bora Bora|
|March||World Va’a Speed Championship; Bora Bora canoe race every two years|
|middle of March||Austral Inter-Island Games; traditional Polynesian sports competitions in the Austral Islands|
|April||Heineken Kayak Contest, kayak race on Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora|
|end of April||Polynesian Sports Festival in Tahiti, featuring traditional sports such as outrigger canoe racing|
|May||Gotcha Tahiti pro surfing contest; the world’s best surfers compete in “Teahupoo breack” in Tahiti.|
|end of June||International Golf Open in Tahiti|
|end of July||Pro-am surfing competition in Tahiti, Te aito Marathon Outrigger Canoe Races; Surf competition and canoe competition|
|October November||Hawaikinui Va’a Canoe Race; Race of the islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora|
Tahiti: national customs
Fare is the name of the traditional house made of coconut wood and coconut palm or panda nut leaves.
Tattoos on the Marquesa Islands
Ornate tattoos all over the body are still proudly worn today in traditional patterns. They are even currently experiencing a renaissance.
In the Marquesas it was customary to tattoo the entire body, sometimes even the tongue or the eyelids were tattooed. The term tattoo comes from the Tahitian language, tatau.
It wasn’t just the men but women as well. For men, the face tattoos were designed as war paint, which was supposed to have a deterrent effect.
The tattoos contained symbols of the tribe. The tattoos are traditionally composed of complex geometric shapes. The painful tattooing process was also seen as an initiation rite.
Music and dance (information Tahiti Tourisme)
Music, dance and song unite the population of the island world. Both modern and traditional music are an integral part of everyday life – whether on the bus, in the café or on the streets. The unusual style of music is dominated by ukuleles, pahu drums, vivo nasal flutes made of bamboo and pu shells – a wind instrument that produces an unmistakable sound and can be heard for miles. Religious and secular singing are also an important part of society – the weekly Sunday anthems in particular enchant guests and locals alike.
Grace, expressiveness, symbolic gestures and impressive costumes characterize the Tahitian dances. They are of enormous cultural importance and are much more than a tourist attraction. In this land of orally transmitted traditions, the dance culture serves to preserve the customs and ensures that the original culture is not lost. In addition, the magic of the dances strengthens the feeling of togetherness among the islanders in a special way. The highlight of this lively folk culture is the “Heiva I Tahiti” or July Festival. Every year, residents of all archipelagos come together in the capital, Papeete, to celebrate their culture. The focus of this happy event is on dance and singing competitions.
Braided hats, baskets, bags and mats are evidence of the skills of Tahitian women. This handicraft is made from the fibers of the coconut palm, the pandau tree and the reed “Aheo”. Another highlight are the “Tifaifai”, hand-sewn patchwork blankets that are embroidered with ethnic or vegetable motifs. They like to serve as a popular wedding gift in Tahiti and its islands. The annual Tifaifai exhibition inspires as a colorful festival of shapes and colors.
Men prefer wood and volcanic rock as the material for their work. They carve graphic or symbolic motifs into the local precious woods “Tou” (a kind of rosewood) or “Miro” (rosewood). The lances, clubs and fruit plates made on the Marquesas Islands – the so-called “umete” – are also well known. Volcanic rocks and bones are also used to make useful and decorative items. In recent years mother-of-pearl has celebrated a comeback thanks to the revival of mussel farming and can be found in many pieces of jewelry or as an adornment for dance costumes.