Fiji loves to celebrate and with two parallel cultures – the traditional Melanesian and more recent Indo-Fijian – there are twice as many reasons. Here’s some dates to keep in mind to catch an authentic Fiji festival.
January: Coral Coast Sevens
Rugby fans from all over the world descend on Fiji for this locally-based event. The fast-paced Fijian lads excel at this pared-down form of the sport and now dominate world competitions. Get along and see this nursery of future world rugby sevens champions.
The Hindu “Festival of Colours” is celebrated anywhere there is an Indian population and Fiji is no exception. Joyous folk typically meet at a temple, sing songs, make music and throw coloured powder on each other as they wander the street in a happy, noisy throng.
June: South Pacific Bowling Carnival
Now don’t turn your nose up, this prestigious event is 60 years old and brings players from all over the South Pacific including Australia, filling up hotels and resorts all around Suva. Lots of events held for bowlers and their pals.
July: South Indian Fire Walking Festival
Not to be confused with the Beqa Island Fijian fire walkers, this is a sacred Hindu event held at Suva’s Mariamma Temple annually. After days of preparation, yellow-clad devotees have priests pierce tongues, cheeks and bodies with fork-like skewers before they walk on hot coals.
August: Bula Festival
Held in Nadi’s Koroivulo Park and the Prince Charles Park, this a lively festival with floats, music and dancing. It also has a beauty pageant at its heart with the annual judging of ‘Miss Bula.’ It traditional precedes the Hibiscus Festival in Suva.
August: Hibiscus Festival
This is the festival for all of Fiji and a real nation-stopper. Running for 60 years, it combines traditional song and dance, beauty pageants, food, rides, entertainment, sporting activities, street parades, children’s events and much more. Main events are in Suva, but smaller events all around Fiji.
October: Fiji International Golf Championship
The newest tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia, the million dollar Fiji International is now set as a regular, week-long fixture at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on the Coral Coast. You’ll need to purchase tickets and corporate facilities are also available.
October: Fiji Week
October 10 is Fiji’s Independence Day where celebrations, large and small, are conducted all through the islands in the week leading up. Expect to see military parades, speeches, music and dance performances as well as street parties for a week prior. For many Fijians, it is a seven day holiday!
October: International Food Festival
The National University of Fiji (FNU) hosts the annual International Food Festival (IFF) at its Nadi campus in Namaka. The event has grown to become a wellness, community and environmental expo with lots of emphasis on natural food, health and cuisine. Arts and crafts too.
November: Corona Uprising Festival
Not some insurrection, it’s the Uprising Resort at Pacific Harbour that hosts this increasingly popular day-long music festival featuring local and international performers singing and dancing. Boasting the "crème de la crème of Fiji’s music virtuosos and contemporary show dancers" it coincides with the Indian Festival of Lights (Diwali).