Cook Islands Aitutaki Island - Image courtesy of Kirklandphotos

Cook Islands Festivals and Events

Discover a choice of must-see festivals in the Cook Islands mainly held to celebrate cultural or significant historical events as well as and sporting events, including the following…


Cook Islands dance troupe

Te Mire Ura Festival

(April 26 - May 9, 2019) – Discover the Cook Islanders’ passion for dance at the annual ‘Dance of the Year’ competition to find the best dancers from across the islands.

Events are held for juniors, intermediates, seniors and ‘golden oldies’.

Catch the action at the National Auditorium in Rarotonga for the final of this colourful event.


Kite Surfing Competition

(June) – Put your skills to the test against both locals and overseas visitors in the annual 5-day Kite Surfing Competition held in Aitutaki Lagoon. Or just enjoy the opening and closing ceremonies and watching the competition from the beach.


Te Maeva Nui Festival

(July 26 - August 5, 2019) – This festival of music and dance celebrates self-rule and is the most important event in the Cook Islands’ calendar. Watch colourful float parades, choir singing, drumming and dancing competitions at the National Auditorium in Rarotonga.

See contemporary and traditional arts exhibitions and enjoy ancient and modern sports played between the islanders. The celebrations are usually held from the end of July to 4th August.


Turama Festival

(1 November) – On 1st November each year islanders decorate graves with flowers and light candles, which burn throughout the night. Turama is a Roman Catholic celebration of All Souls Day when people gather at their ancestors gravesides to laugh about happy times and tell stories of their departed loved ones.


Vaka Eiva Festival

(November) – Watch local teams compete in a series of out-rigger races held in Avarua Harbour, including a round Rarotonga relay race for the Pacific Cup.


Tiare (Floral) Festival

(November 23) – Smell the sweet scent of gardenia and other flowers in the annual ‘Flower Festival’ held in the last week of November in Rarotonga. Watch flower-covered floats, the Miss Tiare beauty pageant and the competition for the best decorated government building.


Latest update: Festivals & Events in Cook Islands: 28 December, 2018


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