CULTURAL FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS IN BORA BORA // 2020
The romantic island is very popular not only with couples and artists looking for inspiration, but only with fans of the event tourism. During the year, several colorful festivals are held here in Bora Bora.
Best Time to visit Bora Bora for Cultural Festival
II. STONE-THROWING COMPETITIONS
III. HAWAIKI NUI VA'A RACES
BORA BORA CULTURAL FESTIVAL AND HOLYDAYS BY MONTH
New Year’s Day
Public holiday celebrated by everyone, especially at Matira. Some shops, bars and cafés, particularly those owned by expats, close over the Christmas/New Year period – maybe, even for all of December.
Changeable, late January – First of the island’s most important religious events, with 3 weekends of unique traditional singing at various venues around the main island.
Chinese New Year
Changeable, January/February – The handful of Chinese families (and others) in Vaitape celebrate moderately for a few days.
Missionaries Day (5th)
Also known as Gospel Day. Public holiday honoring the arrival of Protestantism over 220 years ago, with traditional dancing and singing, mostly in the churches.
Changeable, mid-March Remarkable competition of ancient singing at the town hall in Vaitape, with winners to later compete elsewhere in Tahiti.
(changeable, March/April) – some facilities close for 4 days, while Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. Easter Sunday is a great time to visit a church.
Miss & Mister Bora Bora
(changeable, early April) – a contest of beauty and strength at the town hall in Vaitape.
May 1st Public holiday.
Tahiti Pearl Regatta
(7th to 13th) – largest sailing race in the Pacific. All sorts of boats, from yachts to canoes, travel around Tahiti, including Ra’iatea and Bora Bora islands.
(8th) – public holiday commemorating the end of WWII in Europe.
(changeable) – public holiday 40 days after Easter Sunday.
(changeable, May or June) – also known as Pentecost, a public holiday and major religious event.
(changeable) – in the lead up to the major Heiva celebrations across Tahiti next month, the dance school in Vaitape practices and performs.
(22nd) – honors the beauty of Tahitian women, with an event at the town hall in Vaitape.
(29th) – also known as Internal Autonomy Day. Public holiday celebrating when French Polynesia was granted self-government (but not yet independence).
Heiva i Bora Bora
Expect plenty of hip-swinging dancing, ukulele playing, canoe racing, and sporting carnivals across all of Tahiti. (Ask your hotel or check online about events and venues in Bora Bora.)
Patia Fa // Dancing // Fruit Race
(14th) – public holiday, celebrated with food and song along the main street of Vaitape.
Raid Anei Bora Bora
(changeable, late July) – competitive hiking in the mountains. (Check online for current details.)
(15th) – public holiday, with church services widely attended.
No special events or festivals this month.
(changeable, early October) – honors the ancient tradition of fishing using stones, with events among communities on the main island.
All Saints Day
(1st) – public holiday, when many locals visit graves of relatives.
(11th) – commemorates the end of WWI.
(11th to 13th) – Armistice Day is ‘celebrated’ with a few days of traditional cock-fighting around the communities on the main island.
Hawaiki Nui Canoe Races
(changeable, mid-November) – serious races around Hauhine, Ra’iatea and Bora Bora islands. Over 3 days, with lots of fun for participants and spectators.
(changeable, late November) – traditional events among communities around the main island as locals express gratitude for the rain and hope for a plentiful harvest.
Village de Noël
(11th to 14th) – Christmas fair with locally-made products for sale around the harbor in Vaitape.
Parade de Noël
(Saturday before Christmas) – modest but colorful pageant, with dances and displays. In Vaitape.
(25th) – celebrated fervently. Also a public holiday, with most shops and independent restaurants (i.e. those not associated with hotels) closed for several days. Some facilities, especially those owned by expats, close over the Christmas/New Year period; sometimes, even for the whole month of December.
(26th) – Christmas celebrations continue, although not a public holiday.
New Year’s Eve
(31st) – commemorating the changing of years, with most resorts offering buffet dinners, sometimes with dances and music. Otherwise, head to Matira to see what’s happening.