Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Warm up the cool months in Vanuatu

Australians know that, when the cooler months sets in, it's a great time to pack up and head to the nearest tropical locale - and Vanuatu is a convenient and stunning place to put at the top of your travel list! Luckily for us, this is also a peak time on the local events and festival calender. So if you're ready and keen to book your tickets and accommodation now, you can pack your bags knowing the cultural fun is well taken care of. From traditional village celebrations, to exhilarating sporting events, Vanuatu’s festivals and events offer travellers a unique opportunity to engage with authentic Vanuatu culture and customs during their getaway. Two top events planned for the month of August are the 'Back to My roots' festival, and the Nalawan festival. But there's a whole calender of different festivals you can be a part of in the coming months, and each will bring you in close contact with a culture and a people who are beautiful, warm and embracing.

The 'Back To My Roots' festival takes place each year on Ambrym, 10 - 12th August in 2011.  During the event, some of the most influential cultural practices and dance, exhibitions of art, and beliefs are presented to the public. Traditional dances, demonstrations of magic and other activities that belong to the people of Ambrym are the central attraction, but visitors can also visit traditional villages and sacred land terminals and sites such as old cemeteries, hike through the forest, or visit the cascades, taboo caves or twin volcanoes Marum and Benbow. Further information is available through Napong Norbert on +678 540 0508.

The Nalawan Festival will take place on 11-13 August 2011 at Labo Village in Malekula’s South West Bay. A spectacular Nukofo custom dance will kick off the celebrations, including grade-taking ceremonies, cultural displays and an eye opening village tour, which will allow you to try your hand in traditional food preparation and partake in local craft. The festival is a rare opportunity for adventurous travellers to witness the rich tradition and customs of Malekula’s South West Bay and get an authentic insight into Vanuatu life. The two-day event is priced at 5,000VT per adult (approx. AUD $54) and 2,500VT per child (approx. AUD $27). Nalawan Festival reservations are advised and can be made by calling Willie Isno on +678 5366 168 or Yegor Makhiboroda on +678 5617845.

For more information on Vanuatu’s festival and sporting calendar go to Vanuatu's travel website here.

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