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FestPAC comes to Hawaii

This year sees Hawaii, for the first time, host the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPAC), the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders. The inaugural Festival took place in 1972 in Suva, Fiji and is held every four years. Anticipation is high as the festival was originally scheduled in Hawaii for 2020 but was postponed until 2024.

“Ho‘oulu Lāhui: Regenerating Oceania” will serve as the theme of FestPAC Hawaiʻi 2024, honoring the traditions that FestPAC exists to perpetuate with an eye toward the future. FestPAC celebrates the culture and heritage of indigenous Pacific Islanders through the participation of delegations from more than 25 nations.

American Samoa


Cook Islands

Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

The Federated States of Micronesia


French Polynesia




Republic of the Marshall Islands


New Caledonia

New Zealand


Norfolk Island

The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands


Papua New Guinea

Pitcairn Island


Solomon Islands





Wallis and Futuna


“Ho‘oulu Lāhui: Regenerating Oceania” 

The Canoe Arrival Ceremony

The Canoe Arrival Ceremony initiates the festival, symbolizing unity as traditional canoes bring in cultural representatives from various Pacific nations. The Opening Ceremony launches the festivities with performances, speeches, and a Parade of Nations.

"The canoe is an island, and the island a Canoe."

Canoe Arrival Ceremony, FestPAC1996 - Guam

Many of the smaller canoes are being shipped in containers to Hawaii courtesy of Matson while four of the larger voyaging canoes are making their way under sail using traditional wayfinding techniques (ie no GPS!) The Cook Islands traditional canoe Vaka 'Marumaru Atua' set sail in early May from Raratonga and will take approximately three weeks to make the 3,000 NM trip.

No other country has arrived at the FestPAC by canoe more times than the Cook Islands. This year the 16 crew is a mix of old & new experience and ranging from 17-73 years old. The voyage is a collaboration between the Cook Islands Voyaging Society and Te Puna Marama Voyaging Trust and they had an emotional farewell, we wish them fair winds. Follow their journey on Facebook

Other voyaging canoes currently at sea include:

New Caledonia will host the next Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture in 2028.

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