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Tahiti Island

Colors of Tahiti Island - traditions, festivals, mentality and lifestyle

The indigenous Tahitians are of Polynesian ancestry comprising the gross of the population. French is the official language but Tahitian and French are both in use. If you know French, communicating with the locals will have no difficulty. At the same time, you can use English for communication with the guides, waiters and hotel staff. If you are interested in the local traditions and rituals, you can visit a tourist village where you will find more about the local arts, crafts, and ceremonies. You will have a chance to explore the traditional houses; however, in everyday life, it will be rather difficult to find many ethnic colors.
1. The best time to visit the island is from May to October, the rest of the year is the rainy season, especially frequent storms occur in January. However if you are not afraid of storms … Open
During the colonization period the arrival of the European missionaries had a lasting destroying impact on the local culture. Just in the 20th century, with a view to attracting tourists, the ethnic culture got a chance to start its dynamic recovery. Polynesians set a high value on the spiritual constituent of our life. Tahitians think that being large-hearted and smiling will help them to create the right and positive environment for communication and social interaction. The Tahitian culture involves the mythology of gods, which still determines the everyday life of the locals. It is a kind of tribute to the old traditions and worships. The important part of the daily routine is self-protection against evil spirits, as well as protection of the family and house.
As regards the form of the family, Polynesia is the region where a matriarchy prevails. Traditionally a woman has a central role in the family; as a consequence, the level of education, the intelligence of females and their social position are a bit higher than it can be expected. This fact should certainly be taken into account when interacting with the indigenous people of the island. The “family” concept covers not only the first-degree relatives but actually the whole family, which includes all brothers, sisters, first and second cousins. The family network is of great importance for Polynesians. Copyright
The coastal area Tahiti is notable for its amazing contrasts. There are gorgeous beaches with white coral sand, and exotic parts of the coast covered with black volcanic sand. The most … Open
The locals pay much attention to the first acquaintance. This is due to the fact that they want not only to form their estimate of the person they see for the first time, but also believe that at the moment people meet each other, so do their spirits, and spirits are an integral part of the worldview of a Polynesian. The islanders, especially in the regions where there are not so many tourists, act with discretion towards strangers and are loath to strike up an acquaintance with them. However, if the natives see a tourist showing interest in Tahiti’s customs and traditions, they start communicating with pleasure.
Papeete City Hall While planning your travel to the island, keep in mind that only the people living in the regions visited by many tourists can speak English. Generally, everyone knows French here; and yet in some out settlements, you will need a local translator to communicate with the residents. By the way, there are some words in the Tahitian language, which cannot be translated literally. The word “mana” can be cited as an example. “Mana” has many meanings according to the conversation context and can stand for intelligence, beauty, erudition, charisma, dexterity or attractiveness. According to Tahitians, “mana” is a kind of inner spiritual energy. Frequently you can hear such a phrase as “he has mana”, which means “he has learnt some fundamental truth”.
Tahiti has several luxury resorts that won’t disappoint even the most discerning travelers. The popular hotel Le Meridien is situated at the Punaauia Beach; that’s one of the … Open
“Mana” is associated with the art of tattooing. During the period of French colonial rule tattoos were subject to disfavor; however, today it is difficult to meet a Tahitian who does not have a tattoo. Nevertheless, this fact is not an obstacle to practice Christianity - 85 % of Tahiti’s population affiliate themselves with Catholicism or Protestantism. Such European feast days and holidays as Christmas are celebrated here as well. What is interesting, Tahitian Santa Claus visits the houses of the islanders on a canoe and gets inside not through a chimney but through open windows, since there are no chimneys in the houses. According to the Christian traditions, Tahitians also celebrate Easter, Epiphany, and All Saints' Day. This last-mentioned feast day is particularly important for them because they believe that spirits of the dead look after the living and can even communicate with them, especially on those days when the dividing line between the two worlds is very thin.
rade-de-papeete However, the locals celebrate not only religious holidays on Tahiti. It is good practice to celebrate the New Year, Chinese New Year, Victory Day, Bastille Day, and Independence Day. It is rather interesting to know that the Missionary Day is celebrated annually on March 5 in French Polynesia to mark the arrival of the London Missionary Society missionaries in 1797.
If you have shopping plans during your stay in Tahiti, we recommend visiting Papeete since the main places for shopping are located here. It is worth noting that there are no tremendous … Open
In January on the streets you can see the buses decorated with flowers; February 12 is a Protestant feast called Moorea. The international regattas take place in the beautiful lagoons of French Polynesia in March, April, and May; and in June, there is a four-day golf tournament held on Tahiti. In September, it is possible to see the participants of the mountain race and surfers in Moorea. Come October on the island and it is time for the traditional sea-fishing tournament called the Heiva No Te Pahu Nui O Tahaa. This period also features carnival processions.
The Sherathon Hotel (Tahiti) As for religions due to the influence of the missionaries the greater part of the population professes Catholicism or Protestantism, however, some people are worshippers of local ancient cults. Polynesians are very friendly towards both each other and tourists. It is very nice that you will not be followed by crowds of beggars and bargainers here who will force you to buy some souvenirs. The locals are very delicate in regards to anyone’s private space. It is common here not to be in a hurry. Therefore, if you get used to the fast pace of life, it will be rather difficult to adapt yourself; however, there is no need to complain in this regard and lose your temper.
The largest island in French Polynesia and the location of its capital, Tahiti, has long attracted the attention of thousands of curious tourists. The island provides a lot of natural and … Open
As for the clothes the local regulation is rather loyal to swimsuits, shorts, and dresses without shoulder-straps. The locals usually wear European clothes, but it is also very possible to meet a Tahitian woman wearing a traditional pareo. One more colorful particularity of the Tahitian women is their love of flowers. Almost every female sticks a beautiful flower in hair or puts it behind her ear. Those who are fans of water sports should visit the islands towards the end of February or in March. During this time Tahiti is home of the annual international fishing tournament (February 27 – March 5) and the Tahiti Pearl Regatta held from March 10 to 13.
Papeete This island country is also famous for its ideal conditions and facilities for surfing. In September, Tahiti welcomes the participants of the annual surfing competition called Billabong Pro Tahiti. Actually, Tahitians are fond of extreme sports. On February 12, the Moorea Marathon is held on Tahiti's sister island Moorea. The marathon participants run accompanied by national music; every year this sporting event attracts many runners and spectators. In May, Moorea greets the festival of extreme sports such as kayak and canoe racing, mountain climbing and cycle racing.
Tahiti is an excellent choice for a family vacation. Your kid will definitely feel like a path-breaker on this island, which can easily be called a paradise, and will have lots of … Open
As for the national holidays and feasts, the most colorful and entertaining cultural event of the Polynesian life is the Heiva I Tahiti – the annual festival of life held on July 14. If you are lucky to be visiting the island exactly on the festival days, you will have an opportunity to get to know the culture and traditions of Polynesians to the full extent. During the feast period, different singers and musical bands make performances stepping the national dances and playing Tahitian music; various contests and competition are held including the traditional sports such as javelin throwing and pirogue races.
Papeete One more national festival is Heiva des Artisans; it is organized for artisans. Here you can see a big variety of traditional handicrafts and learn about the production process of local pottery, wicker hats, woven rugs, pearl processing, and many other things. You will have a chance to buy original souvenirs and to taste national food baked in banana leaves. On a large scale, Polynesians celebrate the Chinese New Year, which lasts from February 9 to 24. Due to the influence of the Chinese expat community, this holiday has been granted national status. Believe us – during the festival, you will enjoy so many things such as fireworks, holiday parades, musicians’ performances.
The cuisine of Tahiti has absorbed both the traditional meals and French classic recipes. The fresh and natural ingredients used in the local restaurants and cafes will impress you. It is … Open
While having so many festive events, it is difficult to notice that there is a small number of weddings on the island. According to the local traditions, two persons who are faithful to each other and live together, have the right to be called a family just in the same way as the couple, which has consummated the marriage. One more reason why traditional weddings are not widespread is their expensiveness. From the perspective of the locals, a family, or “fetia” as they call it, includes not only the blood relatives but also all grandnephews and cousins related through grandparents. It is interesting that in general, Polynesia is the region where a matriarchy prevails and as a rule, exactly a woman has the final decision-making authority regarding all important family issues.
Tahiti Island - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

City tours, excursions and tickets in Tahiti Island and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Tahiti Island
♥   Cathédrale Notre-Dame de l’Immaculée Conception, Papeete, 4.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo

National traditions of French Polynesia

One of the most interesting concepts in French Polynesia is the mystical “mana”. Mana can mean a lot of things: vitality, independence, beauty, grandeur, intelligence, truth, and so on. It mainly depends on the situation and what needs to be expressed. When people say about a person: “he has mana”, often means that he has attained some kind of enlightenment. Another distinctive Polynesian trait is widely spread tattoos. Tattooing has always been an important part of the Polynesian culture and could be drawn to the skin as a sign of belonging to some tribe or a symbol of the transition from childhood to adulthood. The word itself “tattoo” is of Tahitian origin. The Tahitians had a god of tattoos, known for decorating all the fish. Each line of the tattoo on the body, each dash is still considered to be connected with mana. Most of the islanders believe that every Polynesian should have at least one tattoo. … Open
Car rental on Rentals in Tahiti Island

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Colors of Tahiti Island in photos

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Traditions and festivals in cities around Tahiti Island

Cityguide on traditions, mentality and lifestyle of people in Tahiti Island. Learn the best periods to visit Tahiti Island to discover its soul - authentic festivals, events and celebrations. We will also reveal the interesting habits, attitude towards the world and to tourists in Tahiti Island. - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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