Here is a complete calendar of Bora Bora events, festivities, holidays, and fun activities that take place throughout the entire year. We list them starting in the month of January and covering up all the way to the month of December.
It’s worth planning a vacation around some of these holidays and events, so you can get to experience the true Bora Bora culture in all its splendor.
1-1 New Year’s Day
Most celebrate through the night bringing in the New Year by watching fireworks. Needless to say, a quiet day follows with seaside family get-togethers celebrating over a hinano or ten – Matira Beach is popular (& the best option for visitors).
Little is open – Chin Lee (supermarket) & a few pearl shops (if a cruise ship in town). Many restaurants closed over the Christmas/New Year’s break (details noted herein in specific reports).
1-20 Taurua Varua
This cultural celebration unique to Bora Bora featuring Himene (traditional song) & Orero (traditional oral declaration) dating back to the early 1800s.
Conducted over 3 consecutive Sunday all-nighters at the Protestant Temples in Anau, Faa’nui & Nunue (the order for this year), the Taurua Varua is something special.
2-09 FIFO – Pacific International Documentary Film Festival
This prestigious event promotes documentaries made in & about the Pacific region. There is an excellent selection of films to suit any enthusiast or critic. Check at the Bora Bora Town Hall to see if any will be screening at short notice in Bora Bora.
2-10 Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is celebrated within the Chinese community throughout French Polynesia including Bora Bora. Check at the Bora Bora Town Hall for details of various celebrations on the island.
An opportunity for families to gather & to look forward to happiness, health & prosperity in the year ahead.
2-14 St. Valentine’s Day
Bora Bora can be a great place to spend St Valentine’s Day for those looking for something unique & unforgettable. You can enjoy plenty of romantic dinners and tours here.
Everything from having lunch with your feet in the water on a private motu (island) or floating gently at the reef’s end overlooking Raiatea & Tahaa on your own private houseboat with only reef-sharks & sting-rays as your guests.
3-5 ARRIVAL OF THE MISSIONARIES
A public holiday marking the day on which the first Protestant Missionaries arrived in Tahiti in 1797. You can see the kaleidoscopic color of the head couronne worn by church-goers and hear the sensational himene (choral singing) in Protestant Churches throughout French Polynesia.
3-14 ORERO CHAMPIONSHIP OF BORA BORA
An ancient art form of oral declaration preserved in a series of championships Tahiti-wide conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. It’s an event requiring great talent not to mention a fabulous costume it packs in the locals & is well worth seeing.
3-30 MOOREA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
A marathon staged in the magnificent setting of Moorea starting & finishing on the staggeringly beautiful Temae Beach. It’s a much-prized competition on the international circuit that’s worth taking part of.
4-6 RAID VANIRA
A 15km cross-country event through Tahaa’s beautiful natural scenery. Music, arts & crafts, vanilla & much more.
4-7 MISS & MISTER BORA BORA
Grand evening spectacle at Vaitape and open to the public. Live music, dinner (4,000xpf) or non-dinner (1500xpf), from 7 pm. For tourists who are in town, this can represent a night out with a difference. There is no need to book but simply turn up at the large white marquis on the night!
5-11 TAHITI PEARL REGATTA
This splendid, fun regatta offers sailors the chance to sail some of the most beautiful waters in the world.
5-19 MATARII i RARO
The marking of the end of the period of abundance with the passing of the Pleiades constellation and is celebrated in a magical, mystical, and very spiritual sitting atop the Maroto in Tahiti. It’s an absolute must for those interested in authentic Tahitian culture.
5-24 PAREU DAY
Wrap yourself up in a pareu & join in the fun.
6-12 SCHOOL HEIVA
If you happen to be in Vaitape the Heiva des Ecoles (School Heiva) festival showcases the local school children dressed up in their Heiva attire while singing and dancing in the way tradition has always had it.
6-25 to 7/29 HEIVA i BORA BORA
The Heiva is Tahiti’s most emphatic statement of Polynesia’s deep history and rich culture. The Heiva i Bora Bora is a world-famous spectacle danced on white sands at the foot of Mount Otemanu & Pahia. It’s innate for Tahitians to party & the Heiva is non-stop, month-long.
7-14 BASTILLE DAY
France’s major holiday!
7-21 RAID ANEI BORA BORA
A wonderful outing both for the competitive and those who enjoy good hiking.
9-7 MARAAMU SURF SKI RACE
The World Series Maraamu Surf Ski Race features the world’s best kayakers in a thrilling 40km dash in the world’s best down-wind blue water ocean race. The setting is the stunning surroundings between Tahaa’s Paipai Pass and the legendary Bora Bora.
10-8 MOLOKAI HOE
Two years ago the Hawaiians remarked: “Well at least we could see the Tahitains this year.” Well the Tahitians will be back, looking to win yet again. Great race!
11-15 OPERATION BOB CAT
An interesting day on the main island celebrating the arrival of the Americans in Bora Bora for WWII.
11-18 MATARII I NI’A
The marking of the arrival of the Matarii (the Pleiades constellation) and the period of abundance celebrated in venerated grounds atop the Maroto in the center of Tahiti. Polynesian culture is authentically preserved.
11-19 to 24 HOLOPUNI CHANNEL RACE
An unbelievable race from Tahiti to Bora Bora in Holopunis!
11-30 HAWAIKI NUI VA’A RACE
The Hawaiki’nui Va’a Race sees the world’s greatest outrigger canoe race explode into action. Six (6) man outrigger canoes are paddled on 3 consecutive days from Huahine to Raiatea (day 1), Raiatea to Tahaa (day 2) & Tahaa to Bora Bora (day 3) in a test of physical and mental power which defies superlatives. To witness the finish at Matira Beach is a world magic moment!
11-27 to 12-2 KXT IRONMANA LIQUID FESTIVAL
A series of water-sport disciplines as diverse as single-man outrigger canoes, surf-skis, SUP, paddleboarding, ocean water swimming, horizontal free-diving and even life-saving techniques. The Ironmana marks the ultimate gathering in Tahiti of the world’s best in aquatic sports.
Aside from the competition, there are relay races, kids programs, live entertainment, traditional Tahitian dance (tamure) shows, and a variety of tours & excursions open to everyone. Check out the Bora Bora Ironmana Liquid Festival.
12-1 RAID APETAHI
An excellent event both serious and fun staged amidst spectacular scenery on the island of Raiatea and organized in various communes on the island.
12-7 BORA BORA DISTRICT VA’A
End of season V1 (single paddler) outrigger canoe championships. Conducted off stunning Matira Beach and the setting is exceptional.
12-5 to 12-8 CHRISTMAS FAIR
Stores of locally made products from plants to pottery, musical instruments to clothing & jewelry. There is plenty of local ambience in the form of ukuleles & guitars all under the big white marquee at water’s edge in Vaitape. Worth a visit while staying in Vaitape.
12-14 CHRISTMAS PARADE
A colourful parade of magnificently decorated floats & a night-time dance spectacle. It’s a great favourite with the population and a chance to spread the wonder and joy of Christmas. Starts just after sunset in central Vaitape.
12-15 CHRISTMAS CAROLS
7pm at Place Mo’toi in Vaitape. The major religious confessions sing their hearts out.
12-25 CHRISTMAS DAY
A very Happy Christmas full of peace & joy. If you wish to see what’s going on in Bora during Christmas check out Christmas in Bora Bora.
By the way, there’s a great group of decorative Christmas Trees particularly good to see at night that set up in the Marriage Hall of the Town Hall. It’s there behind the big “Mairie de Bora Bora” sign just off the main road.