Cook Islands: Festivals and Events

Cook Islands: Festivals and Events
Discover a range of top festivals and events in the Cook Islands held to celebrate cultural or significant historical events, incluiding the following. . .


Cook Islands Jazz and Blues Festival (29 to 30 March)

Head to Club Raro, on Rarotonga for the first Cook Islands Jazz and Blues Festival – the event promises sparkling performances from both Pacific and US talent. 

Te Mire Ura Festival (3 to 24 Apri) 

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. 

Te Maeva Nui Festival (11 to 20 September)

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. However, in 2009, the festival has been moved to September to link with the Pacific Mini Games. 

Pacific Mini Games (21 September to 2 October)

Join the biggest event in the Cook Islands for more than 20 years with teams from 22 countries from the Pacific region competing in 14 different sports, ranging from sailing and squash to boxing and lawn bowls. Rarotonga will host the games with the sailing held in Aitutaki lagoon. 

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 (20 to 27 November)

Watch local teams compete in a series of out-rigger races, including a round Rarotonga relay race for the Pacific Cup. 

Tiare Festival (1 to 5 December)

Smell the sweet scent of gardenia and other flowers in the annual ‘Floewr Festival’ in Rarotonga. Watch flower-covered floats, the Miss Tiare beauty pageant and the competition for the best decorated government building.