The Tahiti Traveler

130th Heiva Festival

Tahiti in celebration

During the month of July, the greatest traditional Polynesian singing and dancing competition in the world is held in Tahiti. The Heiva festival plays host to 28 dance schools, 17 dance groups and 22 singing groups that gather for this yearly meeting. It represents approximately 3500 artists that rehearse for months to give their best song and dance performances for this famous event.

The Heiva is the most prestigious Polynesian cultural event in French Polynesia bar none. From the 5th to the 21st July, Papeete displays the colors of the event. It proposes incomparable cultural and artistique events: best window display contests, photography contests and the traditional music and dance competitions.

Foremost a popular event, the Heiva is also an important competition with a jury composed by 8 local dance personalities that have to deliver special prizes for a total value of 7 million XPF or approximately USD 75,000.

The Heiva’s festivities are divided in 4 parts : Public events that take place in the city; the nights of singing and dancing competitions; the « heiva va’a i tahiti » for outrigger canoe races and the « Heiva tu’aro ma’ohi » which is the traditional sporting events that includes a stone lifting competition, a javelin-throwing event, a copra competition and a fruit carrying competition.

Many visitors come from all around the world to enjoy this wonderful show in Tahiti. A cultural display that has brought great success, it is the ultimate cultural showcase Polynesian culture, bringing energy, joy, color, sharing and love.

Heiva program 2012