Heiva is about bringing the community together and keeping the Polynesian traditions alive. From July 2nd through the 21st, there are daily competitions of all sorts: pirogue racing, petanque, javelin throwing, tennis, basketball, bike racing, and the traditional barefoot race where contestants have to carry heavy sacks of fruit on their shoulders. There are also demonstrations of Polynesian tattooing, medicine, massage, and basket weaving.
The most popular event of Heiva is the Mr. and Miss Tahiti competition. This beauty pageant is not just about good looks but also talent and intelligence, including a race to see who can crack open ten coconuts first.
The best days for visitors to attend Heiva is at the beginning of the month. Nightly singing and dancing begins on the 2nd, followed by days of nonstop entertainment. Tickets to sporting events, which last several hours, generally run about $20 USD. The festival concludes on July 21st (or 22nd in case of poor weather) with the awards ceremony.
Heiva is also celebrated [to a lesser degree] in California, Hawaii, Fiji, and Japan.
Contact a South Pacific Specialist to book your Tahiti vacation!