Date: 21 of June
Miss Tahiti is a beauty pageant with a long history in French Polynesia (it dates back from 1960). As such, it has a strong local following, and it is organized with much splendor and anticipation. This contest celebrates Polynesian women's charm and beauty. Each year's winner gets a chance to participate in Miss France pageant.
Date: Throughout July
Heiva I Tahiti is a traditional fokloric festival, and it constitutes the biggest celebration in the Polynesian calendar. It will take place, as usual, during a good part of the month of July throughout the Polynesian islands. Its program includes many sports' events (canoe racing, surfing, golf, cyclism, soccer, etc.) but also traditional sports (outrigger canoeing, spear throwing, fruit carriers' races, copra husking competitions, etc.). Culture and traditions are obviously at the center of the festivities with tattooing, weaving, knowledge of local pharmacopea, fire walking and the big historical reenactments in marae (temples). The prestigious singing and dancing competitions, which gather in Tahiti nearly 10,000 participants all month long, are the highlight of these festivities, as well the highly popular canoe races. The other islands besides Tahiti (namely Moorea, Bora Bora and Raiatea, but also the Austral and the Marquesas islands), will not be left behind. According to their resources and possibilities, they will also organize important artistic, cultural and sports showcases to celebrate local tradition.
The festival's main contest takes place Tahua To'ata stadium, on Papeete's coastline, and it's truly spectacular, with all Polynesia's best and most prestigious dance academies competing between them. Festivities also include a military parade through Papeete's streets commemorating the Bastille Day, on July the 14th.
Date: 23 to 27 of September
This International Golf competition takes place in the Moorea Green Pearl golf course, in the island of Moorea. Several golfers from the Pro circuit are expected to participate in this wonderful tropical scenery. This tournament will be a part of the "South Pacific Tour", which is organized by PGA Australia, and supported by the Polynesian Golf Federation.
Date: 3 to 6 of July
This event is held to receive visitors and create a gathering environment for tourists, amateur seamen and local population: a day of festivities in the yachts' reception in Papeete, a day of sailing to Moorea and a day in Moorea livened up by traditional sports' competitions (outrigger canoe races, javelin throwing, fruit carrier races, etc).
Date: 21 to 31 of August
They are all here, they all came to put on a good show on the dangerous waves of Teahupo'o for the Tahiti Pro, the 7th instance in the World Surf League. For two days the sport's world best specialists will compete to add their name to the hall of fame of one of the most prestigious surfing competions in the world. As to our Tahitian champions, they don't feel left out and this year hope to destabilize the world's best surfers at their favorite spot.
Date: 10 and 11 of July
For this key race in Polynesia, the best canoers of the islands get together in the lagoon for a fierce competition. The short 12 km race will certainly showcase formidable intensity. Spectators gather all along the itinerary to cheer for their favorites. And one more time, bets are running high during this competition to determine the "Polynesian Best Canoe Racer of the Year ". The best hundred athletes in this challenge will qualify to compete in the "Super Aito" Va'a Race.
Date: 29 of August
Follow-up to the Te Aito canoe race that takes place in July, the Super Aito takes the best racers of the former race and starts all over again, but on very different distances: 5, 10, 15 and 20 km long. Athletes from the previous race can here prove their superiority or well try a revenge. As strategies are slightly different in function of the length of the race, some suprises are always expected during this competition which takes place over two days and delivers impressive one-on-one action.
Date: 15 of September
This big raid presents itself in a new shape, now famous in the whole world, reserved to high level athletes, whether professional or amateur. Organizers also want to give their event a more familiar character by creating a "light" competition to attract a greater number of participants who will be able to compete amongst pineapple plantations in Tahiti's sister island of Moorea. The race is run by three-person teams and is dedicated to environmental preservation.
Date: 27 of September
A day celebrated with ostentation each year in Tahiti, probably more than elsewhere. A little everywhere throughout the other islands big events take place to celebrate a landmark date. Hotels and pensions participate by organizing specific shows and entertainment events. Several sports, cultural and artistic competitions are organized around this date. Shops and museums also offer special discounts.
Date: End of June
Each of French Polynesia's five archipelagos has a distinctive tradition of arts and crafts, including weaving, carving in wood, bone, stone, coral and mother-of-pearl, as well as tattooing, stone sculpting, sewing and the making of ornaments. The "Artisans' Heiva" actually begins before the proper Heiva, towards the end of June, and extends as long as late-July. This exhibition brings together craftsmen from all over French Polynesia, who can be observed working dextrously with traditional materials such as pandanus, oyster shell and coral. Then during Heiva itself, the artisans' "Crafts Heiva" runs concurrently with the festival's performance arts. On display throughout the festival are carvings, ornaments, pareo cloth and tattoo artists at work.
Date: Mid July
Even if Tahiti's Heiva is French Polynesia's most important and biggest cultural and artistic celebration, each of the other islands have their own Heiva, most of which happen before or during the main festival in Tahiti. Heiva in the islands of Raiatea, Bora Bora, Huahine and Rurutu are particularly well-known, where local population compete in their own and traditional celebrations and contests. This event is organized by each island's city hall and takes place in the main village.
Date: 14 to 20 of September
Tahiti Nui Tour is one of French Polynesia's main cycling competitions, covering the island of Tahiti and its sister island of Moorea (comprising also the ferry crossing between them). International delegations from Australia, New Zealand, Chile and New Caledonia are expected, among others.
Date: 28 to 31 of October
The new edition of this very important va'a (rowing) competition in Polynesia and in the world. With over 100 canoes at the start line between Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora and a legendary finish line on Matira Beach, the race will be followed by over 10,000 spectators who, for the occasion, take a full week's vacation. Broadcasted live over 20 countries, this competition is the best overseas advertising for our islands. The race starts in Huahine to Raiatea (Day 1), then Raiatea to Taha'a (Day 2), and lastly the most difficult and longest segment of the race, Taha'a to Bora Bora (Day 3).
It is, without a doubt, the whole French Polynesian rowing race's calendar culmination, and the most important race in the year.
Date: Last week of November
Traditional dance competition held in Papeete's Cultural Center. It's aimed to smaller troupes who don't normally have a space in the main events such as Heiva where the bigger troupes participate. However, artistic level is generally excellent, so these smaller troupes are not to be missed!
Date: 24 of November
Monoi is one of Polynesia's top and most sought-after products. It consists of a rich balm made of tiare flowers and coconut oil, and it is exported and appreciated worldwide. Monoi Here is the "Monoi Week", an event dedicated to spreading the word and appreciating this product which represents so well the Polynesian soul.
This event, to be held at "Maison de la Culture", is where exhibition of monoi, sales and documentary films are shown.
Date: 26 to 30 of November
This endurance race is quickly becoming a classic among the islands. The event consists in a series of sport and recreational activities that attracts, on one side, sportsmen who are interested in endurance tests (the famous "ironmen", and tourists and fans who are interested in adventure on the other side. The schedule includes a great array of waterports tests (mainly canooeing, swimming, waterskiing) and traditional cultural manifestations (excursions, Tamara'a barbeques, etc). Plus, there are several beach parties planned at night, where trendy DJs will be spinning their records.
The event's programme is very varied and holds options for all tastes. This all makes Bora Bora THE PLACE TO BE during this week.
Date: 7 of December
This magnificent race in full nature on the island of Raiatea is a tribute paid to this “Apetahi” flower which gets harder and harder to find. Indeed, the eco-friendly organizers wish to make all the athletes and media aware of the need to protect this endangered endemic species.
Date: 24 to 31 of December
Despite the lack of snow and cold weather, the celebrations of Christmas and New Year bring a particular enjoyment to our islands each year. Sun tanned Santas are just about everywhere, especially in supermarkets, but also in schools and companies. The Christmas' Eve ends with Midnight masses in many churches. And for the New Year, a frenzy of all sorts of fireworks is prepared, which has nothing to envy to those of the world's big cities. Tahiti and her Islands also know how to make a lot of noise... Any visitor will be able to see, hear and enjoy.
Date: 27 of January
This colourful tour is organized by Tahiti's Tourism Office, and is done by traditional "trucks". The tour passes through the island of Tahiti's main sights, with stops to enjoy local cultura activities, all set to the sound of typical Polynesian music played live.
Date: 2 to 10 of February
Display of several productions and short films which have the Pacific as main subject. Film lovers and enthousiasts will be able to watch documentary films with different perception horizons according to each region. A jury composed by important names from the audio-visual arts scene will reward the best films. In the House of Culture, Tahiti.
Date: 5 to 16 of February
This festivity is celebrated with enthusiasm throughout Polynesia due to the important chinese community that lives in the islands. However, it's without a doubt in the island of Tahiti where the most spectacular and crowded celebrations take place. The ceremony starts in Papeete's City Hall, and this is followed by a paper lions, tigers and dragons parade through the city's streets. All of this happens at the sound of gongs, the flight of kites and dance shows. All cultural aspects are included with martial arts and a great banquet in Mamao's Kanti chinese temple. The day ends with a lantern march and the Miss Dragon election.
Date: 4 to 8 of March
This important World Surf League Professional Competition belongs to the QS1000, in the OPEN MEN category, and features the participation of about 60 competitors, of whom just over half are foreigners. The setting is idyllic and the Avatoru tubular right, which according to weather conditions might get dangerous, can reach 4 m high.
Date: 10 to 15 of March
This competition belongs to the World Surf League's QS1000 and has 4 sub-categories: Femenine Open (adults and juniors) and Masculine Open (adults and juniors). It is yet one more of the unavoidable events in the Tahitian Surf Federation's yearly calendar.
Date: 29 to 30 of March
Held in the island of Moorea, this marathon is considered by specialists as one of the world's most beautiful ones (more than 600 competitors from all nationalities all together). Medical assurance, supply and hydration stations every mile and a half, and musical numbers are assured along the way. Several races are programmed, a 42, a 21 and a 6 kilometer-long one. A week of parallel events allows the athletes, from all over the world, the possibility to relax and take advantage of the exceptional framework of this event anyway: crafts, cultural activities, traditional sports, etc.
Date: 11 of April
A 15-km foot race on Taha'a, the "Vanilla Island" (Leeward Islands). Departure from the town of Tapuamu, and arrival at Pahure stadium (in the village of Patio) with musical entertainment, fruit tasting and several stands of handcrafts, catering and vanilla products.
Date: 26 to 27 of April
Male and female traditional dances competition in its tahitian Ote'a and Aparima categories. Dancers from many coutries are expected, such as New Caledonia, France, United States, Mexico, etc. This event is a precursor to the Ori Tahiti World Championship, the biggest competition of its kind in the planet. This edition will also feature some workshops in which the best dancers will teach beginner and advanced moves.
Date: 5 to 9 of May
Organized in the Leeward Islands by boat lovers and the Raiatea Yacht Club, the Tahiti Pearl Regatta is an authentic Polynesian fest which mixtures sailing with people encounters and the discovery of exceptional sites. The annual gathering of sailing fans in Tahiti, the islands and all the Pacific has now reached its cruising speed. Meals, parties and lodging are included by the organization every night at each stop in this 3-stage, 3-day race.
Date: 17 of May
The "Tahitian Round" is the greatest cycling race in the Polynesian calendar, and presents three categories: The Big Round, 110 kms long, the Small Round, 55 kms long, and the Leisure Round, 15 kms long. Every year, hundreds of cyclists from several countries gather in Tahiti to take part in this colorful race which holds a great esteem in the local public, due to its environmental message.
Date: 4 of July
This special ceremony (called Umu Ti) is usually the starting point for the Heiva festivities. The traditional undeground oven Ahima'a is dug, and set on fire, to be covered by stones afterwards. The ceremony concludes with the walk over hot stones and fire, one of our islands' highlights.
Date: Saturdays of July
Marae Arahurahu is one of the biggest and most important traditional temples in Polynesia. During the saturdays of July, the Artistic Conservatory of Tahiti organizes here important cultural manifestations, lead by the island's best singing and dancing troupes.
Date: 27 to 31 of July
Last stage of the Waterman Tahiti Tour, in which athletes compete in different aquatic disciplines in a test of strength, stamina and endurance. Contesting disciplines are: Stand-up Paddle, open water swimming, paddleboard prone, body surf and lifesaving techniques.
Date: 14 of September
Maraamu Skisurf is an individual canoe and kayaking race that connects the islands of Taha'a and Bora Bora. It occurs during Maraamu, a special sea current that presents the special conditions necessary for the fulfillment of this achievement. Many rowers from all over the world will gather in our islands to take part in this race, as well as in the subsequent celebrations that are a display of how respect, partnership and humbleness all lie above competitive spirit.
Date: Beginning of October
Ono'u is the local street art and graffiti festival, which yearly attracts around 50 international artists to display their creations in murals and sites which have been especially established for this. It is known as the world's biggest festival in its field.
Date: 6 to 9 of November
Tattoo (or "tatau" in Tahitian) holds an important place in the life of Polynesians. It's a form of art that emerged in our islands before the Europeans' arrival, and that has evolved until now, being a trend-setter worldwide. Polynesia Tatau is the local festival that gathers all this art's enthousiasts, tattoo artists and designers coming from all over the world to take part of the event's schedule (fashion shows, workshops, exhibits, etc).
Date: 16 to 19 of December
This festival is one of Polynesian culture's most authentic existing manifestations. It is held every 4 years in one of the 6 inhabited Marquesas Islands. This year, it's the small Ua Pou's turn to shine as the host.
During 4 days in December, artists, musicians and dancers from all the Marquesas will gather in Ua Pou to display a true and unique show. This festival also attracts enthousiasts from the other Polynesian Islands, as well as from other countries of the world, and brings the Marquesas to the spotlight during these days. It is an exceptional way to understand why the Marquesas, one of the world's most remote archipelagoes, are famous for being the wardens of culture and tradition.