Sunday, October 31

Cook Islands Gospel Day on Rarotonga

This is a pretty busy time of year on Rarotonga.
Cook Islands Gospel Day takes place on 26 October, celebrating the arrival of Christianity on Aitutali in 1821. Actually a visitor to Raro commented that it should be called Slash and Burn Day – the number (and noise) of chainsaws and weedeaters in operation from early morning is huge.
Then we have Turama, All Saints Day, on 1 November, when the Catholic community spruce up the graves of loved ones that are then blessed by the bishop of Rarotonga.
On November 5 our international sporting rugby sevens tournament – Sevens in Heaven – gets going. This year it is a three-day event because of the increased number of teams, 25 all told, 16 men’s and 9 women’s.
Then later in November the Vaka Eiva outrigger canoe festival takes place and that is getting bigger year by year. There could also be canoe carving, and international food festival and a special trade day at the same time.
And finally at the beginning of December there’s the Tiare festival, celebrating all the flowers that should be blooming round about then (as long as we don’t have too much in the way of winds). Oh, yes, the cyclone season also starts in November but we’re hoping it will be a mild year; various met offices are forecasting that our part of the world should miss out on the worst of the action. Hope they’re right.
This video comes from Gospel Day.
Arorangi hosted the event, which got under way somewhat later than advertised but nothing really unusual about that. This year’s theme was about taking the gospel to the heathens. The video shows parts of the host’s nuku (religious play) which covered a wedding in Mangaia and the early days of Takamoa Theological College when pastors and their wives were trained to become missionaries in places like Papua New Guinea. As is always the case most of the village took part and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. There used to be a (flexible) time limit of twenty minutes per nuku but this one took more like an hour and what with that and the late start I only had time for Arorangi and part of Matavera’s drama which involved cannibalism in New Caledonia.
All good fun.
Bring on Turama.