The Tahiti Traveler

The Pléiades, or Polynesian Spring

There is a place where the rain isn’t a sign a sorrow, it is actually a much more noble indicator: the season of abundance. You need to know that French Polynesia has been a self-sufficient place for centuries and natural resources were simply vital, mostly because of its remote location. This is the reason we like to think of the raining season as the Polynesian Spring. Referring to the Polynesian ancestors calendar, local people like to pay attention to every details and changes brought by nature. Before the rain starts its season, we know that the Uru, local bread fruit will be ready to be placed on wood fire, and that the Faapu (vegetable garden) will produce enough crop until next dearth season “Mata’ari’I I raro”. These signs are also written in the stars of the Polynesian sky.

The Pleiades, a constallation that rules the dry and wet

Captain Cook chose to take onboard his vessel, Tupai, local male from the Island of Raiatea, for its knowledge in traditional sailing and star reading. In fact, Polynesian people have trust the skies for centuries, to guide them between the islands.

Traditionally, the seven stars of the Pleiades, called “Matari’i” show when it is time to enter the Polynesian season of abundance, “Te Auhune”.

Around November 20th, the local people refer to the same stars when the time for spring season comes around, and the celebration is on all over the islands! In the Tuamotu, people will celebrate the Turtles as a sign of prosperity and fertility. Whereas in the Marquises, people will honor the bread fruit or ko’ina tapavau. The Pleiades are celebrated all the way to Hawaii, where the constellation’s appearance are considered as the most sacred day of the year. The entire South Pacific glorifies the event, as this is the most fertile period of the Polynesian Calendar.

Can you imagine, this period of the year is seen as the low season for most travel agencies! You know now, this isn’t the case for E-Tahiti Travel!