Key details

  • Place : Easter Island
  • Dates : 1 to 15 February 2016
  • Program : Music, dance and traditional sports

Tapati Festival,  Easter Island

The Tapati o Te Rapa Nui, literally the Easter Island Party, brings the whole population of Easter Island together in celebrating their Polynesian culture. It’s become one of the major cultural festivals in Polynesia and attracts international interest. Despite this success, the atmosphere remains one of a family celebration.


Taking place each year in early February, the Tapati Festival can fit with a trans pacific sailing program. You will likely have left South America at the end of January to reach Easter Island with the festivities in full swing. The Gambier and Tuamotu islands can wait a week or 2! If your program is different, don’t worry, it’s easy to get Easter Island from Tahiti thanks to Air LAN Chile which regularly has promotional deals on offer.

Once in Easter Island, prepare yourself for 2 weeks of activities. During the day there are traditional sports competitions, the opportunity for the locals to show their strength, and for visitors to discover the variety of sporting games mostly lost to our times. You can watch a Polynesian triathlon which consists of running across an extinct volcanic crater, carrying whole bunches of bananas or other large bags of fruit and then paddling on a board made of wicker! Equally popular is traditional surfing, which consists of getting to the shore from a given distance out with one single wave, on a board which calls to mind todays paddle boards.

In the evening it’s time to sing, for music concerts and for oral proclamations, while the night gives space for open air dances. The whole population participates, be it competing, dancing, cooking or signing, late into the night. The atmosphere is friendly, you’ll have the impression of having joined a large family whilst discovering the Polynesian culture of yesteryear. Not to be missed!