This festival is going to transport you at a great speed!
We’re back with Trippy Tuesdays and for this edition, we’re going a bit towards the edge of excitement.
The Easter Island is nestled in Chile’s wide Pacific Ocean and they have a very specific way to celebrate their annual Tapati Rapa Nui festival. It is a celebration that has been taking place on the island since 1968 and is continued to this day. The festival is held in the capital, Hanga Roa, during the first 10 days of February.
The people come together to take part in the festival and the various activities that accompany it; one being the infamous Haka Pei or translated to the Banana race.
The race involves men donning nothing but a small loin cloth to cover their modesty as they get ready, at the top of a volcanic mountain to make their descent. Two large banana tree trunks are fused together to create a makeshift board which the men sit on top of before sliding all the way down.
Although it may sound a bit far fetched, the tradition has been taking place for years on Maunga Pu, the volcano used, every year since the beginning. The volcano is over 300 feet tall and at times, the young men plummet to the flat surface at a speed of 50 kmph! Take a look at the video to see the speed:
The festival brings together the 5000 people inhabiting the Island in a series of tests which display strength and endurance with a grand show of dance and arts in the two-week long celebration. Spectators watch from their picnic blankets for the high level of entertainment that takes place. The festival also cooks an annual feast which requires cooking enough fish to feed over 1,500 people!
We wish we had this festival going on in our country, or at least give an excuse to watch people falling off the side of a volcano!