If you’ve been immersed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, you’ll be glad to know that another Olympic fix is just around the corner. Tapati 2013, one of the most important annual festivals in all of Polynesia, is the Easter Island version of the Olympic Games. Tapati takes place February 3-18, 2013, with its own version of triathlon, rowing and other contests of athletic prowess. explora Rapa Nui, the 30-room hotel named Posada de Mike Rapu, invites its guests to take part in the celebrations.
This traditional Rapa Nui festival has been celebrated since 1963, in January and February of every year. During the festival, around 40 ancient sporting and cultural events from Easter Island take place. The best-known are the Vaka Tuai, in which each alliance or team makes a reed canoe and sails with its candidate for queen; the Takona, in which the participants paint their bodies with natural pigments; the Tau’a or triathlon; and the Haka Pei, where competitors throw banana tree trunks downhill at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour.
The festival began 40 years ago with the passing of the law, Ley Pascua, allowing the residents of Isla de Pascua, or Easter Island, to vote in the Chilean presidential elections. The festival activities expanded to include the celebration of Rapa Nui heritage with music, dance, feasts and fireworks.
explora Rapa Nui’s lodge, Posada de Mike Rapu, is a perfect base to experience Tapati 2013. Opened in December 2007, Posada de Mike Rapu is the first green hotel in Latin America. It meets the strict international certification standards of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), evidence of the high environmental standards used in its design and construction. explora Rapa Nui most recently attracted worldwide attention with an impressive perfect score of 100 in Travel + Leisure’s 2012 World’s Best Service Awards.
In addition to participating in the festival activities, the lodge brings travelers closer to Rapa Nui culture, from its cuisine rich in fish and seafood, to daily excursions on foot, by bicycle and on the ocean (boat trips, snorkeling, fishing and surfing).
Interesting facts about Rapa Nui:
- The island is a World Heritage Site (as determined by UNESCO) with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
- The island lies 3,510 km (2,180 mi) west of continental Chile at its nearest point.
- Rapa Nui, claimed to be the most remote inhabited island in the world, is famous for its 887 monumental statues, or Moai.
- explora's report from Tapiti 2012.
Posted by Anne Gordon on Monday, 13th August, 2012