The Cook Islanders are very religious people and take their Christian faith very seriously, however no one said that religion couldn’t be fun! Each year, there are a number of Gospel Days throughout each of the Cook Islands, with each of the islands celebrating on a different day. Coming up at the end of October, Aitutaki will celebrate Gospel Day on Wednesday 26th and this will be followed by National Gospel Day which is celebrated on Rarotonga on Thursday the 27th.
Join in the fun on Gospel Day
If you happen to be on Aitutaki or Rarotonga at the end of October then make sure you join in the fun whether you have strong Christian beliefs or not. Gospel Days represent a public holiday on the island and were set up to celebrate the arrival of Christianity on the islands. Events take place across most of the Christian churches on the island and are arranged by the Cook Islands Christian Church. Each of the churches competes against each other to see which one can put on the biggest and loudest show which sees islanders dressing up, staging elaborate dramas or ‘nuku’, singing, dancing and playing music.
The fun and singing can be heard all across the island so it’s hard not to get involved and it is definitely worth popping along to one of the services to see this amazing show of colour, song and dance.
A bit of history
Christianity didn’t arrive to the Cook Islands until 1821 when London born clergyman Rev. John Williams took a trip from Tahiti with his wife and some native Tahitian, landing in Aitutaki. At first Williams was greeted by Island chiefs who came out in war canoes waving their spears, however by 1823, he had set up the first Christian Church on the Cook Islands. Cook Islanders soon began to switch their faith from traditional idols to Christianity and thanks to the dedication of Rev. John Williams, Christianity is still thriving across all of the Islands today.
If you would like to attend a Gospel Day service, speak to one of the reception team and they will be happy to let you know where you can attend and let you know more information about the Gospel Day celebrations.