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Home / Newsletter / Tapati Rapa Nui – a unique cultural festival

Tapati Rapa Nui – a unique cultural festival

Easter Island is not only worth a visit because of the famous stone Moai sculptures, but also for the huge festival Tapati Rapa Nui celebrated the first two weeks of February. The festival was created more than 40 years ago and has its origin in the former spring festivals (“fiestas de la primavera”) of Chile. Over time, the Tapati Festival has become a tribute to the traditions of the Rapa Nui people and a unique opportunity to experience, share and preserve the cultural identity of Easter Island.

The reason for this festival is the crowning of the Tapati Queen. Two candidates are presented for this title and supported by their families, friends and visitors. The supporters for each candidate form an alliance and face one another in a series of tests and competitions that recall the rivalries between the old clans who once governed the island. The group with the most points receives the symbolic right for its queen to reign the island for the rest of the year.

The Tapati Festival draws a huge participation from the island’s inhabitants; everyone is proud and enthusiastic, and many invest their time and energy in preparation and practice throughout the year. An interesting short video about the Tapati celebration can be found on this link.

During the festival, the citizens of Easter Island present their music, gastronomy, art, mythology, and physical abilities in various sports competitions. There is also a series of events linked to the Rapa Nui ancestral knowledge of carving, crafts and agriculture. The last day of Tapati Rapa Nui ends with the coronation of the winning Tapati queen on the main stage of Hanga Vare Vare and a fireworks show.

As this festival is celebrated in the high season of summer, we recommend booking your flight and accommodation in advance. The next Tapati Rapa Nui will take place from 1 to 15 February 2020.

More information about the current entry regulations for Easter Island can be found here.
If you have any further questions, please contact your travelArt representative or email info@travelart.com.

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