Festivals and holidays on Cook Islands
Cook Islands are widely known for their festive traditions. The total number of festive events here is relatively small, but due to the fact that most of them have ancient roots, local festivals are famous for their painfulness for all Oceania.
The traditions of the islands are brightly demonstrated during the week of the cultural festival (the second week of February), when competences for the manufacture of quilted blankets are held "Tivaeva", as well as on numerous exhibitions crafts and traditional arts.
The Dance Festival of Cook Islands, or the World Capa, is held on Rarotonga in the third week of April and is famous for its musical competitions reaching apogee at the award ceremony of the best dancers of the year. Islanders generally sincerely consider themselves the best ocean dancers. Song-Quest Song Festival at Rarotong (July) passes as many as five weeks. It reaches the highest point at the ceremony "Big Final", on which singers and musicians from all islands are struggling for the titles of the best performers.
Starting in the nearest by August 4, Friday, a ten-day Te-Maeaev-Nui (Festival of the Constitution) notes the Day of Independence of the Islands. This is the main festival of the year on Cook Islands. During it, numerous sports competitions, regatta, dance and musical ideas, kharic team competitions, historical and cultural reconstructions and many other events are held.
Nuku, or the day of the Gospel, is usually held in July-October (Date Floating). Various religious groups from all islands of the archipelago are collected together for the performance of religious chants ("gospel") or theatrical ideas showing the arrival of missionaries to the shores of Cook Islands.
During the last week, Tiare is held (Flower Festival), accompanied by exhibitions of flowers and bouquets, competitions for the best decoration of shops, schools and government buildings, theatrical ideas and even sea swims with flowers. Also during this period, Miss Tiara competition and traditional canoe parade, also decorated with floral garlands. Dancing and other islanders’ entertainment celebrate and New Year’s Eve.
There are a lot of sports competitions on the islands, among which the international triathlon Rarotong, Round Rarotonga Road Race Robe Rugby, the International Rugby Tournament, Rugby Sevens, Rugate Canoe Waka Evia, Cumet Competitions (a peculiar analog of bowling wooden balls), as well as large enough for so Little Territory National Athletics, Rugby, Football Championships and Netball.