Plan your trip to visit during Cook Islands Constitution week

Posted on 28/03/2023

Plan your trip to visit during Cook Islands Constitution week.

Seeking to discover the essence of our Cook Island people, heritage and culture? The largest cultural celebration in the Cook Islands is Te Maeva Nui. This is also known as the Constitution celebrations. The week-long dance and cultural festival, held during 31 July – 4 August 2023, offers the perfect reason for you to plan your visit to the Cook Islands. Let us take you on a journey through our history, share our traditions and country’s treasures. The week promises to be jam-packed full of local festivities and entertainment.

This annual festival is special to all Cook Islanders. It is the only time of the year where all the pa enua (outer islands) come together as a nation to the island of Rarotonga. It is a time to share and celebrate each Islands individual uniqueness. This is done through performances of dance, storytelling, and song, and by showcasing their arts and crafts, and delicious traditional foods.

This year marks the 58th anniversary of when the Cook Islands gained independence. The theme this year is Te Au Manu Puapinga O Toku Matakeinanga / Enua. Translation: “The important animals, birds of my Tribe / Island”.

The first week of August is also when we celebrate the beauty of our Cook Island language – Kuki Airani. Read more about Cook Islands language week here

When you make plans to travel to any new country it’s always great to learn a few of the local phrases before you get there.  Click here to learn some key Cook Islands phrases.

The Cook Islands boasts one of the liveliest and most vibrant cultures in the South Pacific. We love nothing more than sharing this with our international visitors. Our festivals and events play a significant role in keeping our ancient cultural traditions alive.

We have compiled a list of the top events we recommend experiencing during Constitution week 2023:

The float parade kicks starts the festivities in the last week of July. Witness the decorative floats, marchers and performers as the parade through town to mark the opening of the 2023 Te Maeva Nui festival.

International Night – Hosted at the National Auditorium, showcases many ethnic groups.

Choir Night – Experience the angelic sounds of the Cook Island choir groups.

BCI Trade day.  On this day, each of the outer islands showcase and sell their art, local goods, crafts, foods, fashion and more.

Cultural Dance Performances are the most anticipated event of Te Maeva Nui. Each dance troupe represents their specific island in this spectacular dance competition.

Evening Food Vendors. You will find local food stalls offering delicious selections of local foods each evening at the National Auditorium.

Note: End of July marks the start of whale watching season.

Click here for more information on Te Maeva Nui 2023 – Constitution Celebrations.


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