21st September 2018
Vanuatu is a stunning archipelago with rich cultural history and lasting traditions. Throughout the year, Vanuatu holds many festivals and ceremonies that celebrate the ancient rituals of the culturally diverse nation. Visitors flock to Vanuatu each year to participate in the unique rituals and dance celebrations as they uncover the history of Vanuatu. Many of these festivals are held in beautiful landscapes off the beaten track with stunning natural scenery. Here are our top 3 must-see Vanuatu festivals.
Nagol Land Diving (April to June)
Located on Pentecost Island, the ancient ritual is a rite of passage ceremony where young men attach vines to their legs and jump off a tall tower made of sticks and bamboo. As the diver falls he will curl his head under his chin and let his shoulders touch the ground as a blessing to make the ground fertile for the next year’s yam crop. Beneath the tower, locals dressed in traditional costumes dance, sing and stomp loudly on the ground to bless the village with generous harvests. Held during the yam harvest season, this ceremony is one of the most iconic festivals in Vanuatu, attracting hundreds of visitors each year. .
Toka Festival (October)
This spectacular three-day festival occurs once every four years and is one of Vanuatu’s most vibrant custom ceremonies. When the village chief declares that conditions are favourable, over 2000 locals come together to feast, dance and exchange extravagent gifts. Symbolising alliances between different tribal groups, this ceremony is fascinating and not to be missed on your next Vanuatu adventure.
Rom Dance (July)
Held in Fana Village on North Abrym, this iconic ceremony runs for 2 days non-stop. Communities come together in elaborate costumes to perform the unique ancestral dance called Rom. Visitors can expect to see traditional music featuring bamboo flutes and wooden drums along with Vanuatu magic, weaving and lava stone carving. The unique landscape is also home to an active volcano that provides spectacular photo opportunities.