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Everyone is Yapping about Yap Day in Micronesia

Published by Mona Rae, Writer

Country: Micronesia, Federated States of

The Experience

The Yap Day Festival of Micronesia is one of the most important celebrations of the Yapese culture. All four of the Yap islands contribute to the merriment during the festival which make the customs and traditions performed here even more special. Yap Day is a carnival of joy and fulfillment, and the Yapese are deeply spiritual people, which reflects very strongly during the Yap Festival.

The Yap Day Festival is really the best time to visit Micronesia. During this time you are be able to see traditions at their fullest, that aren't regularly or as naturally portrayed during other times of the year. All of the villages have different ways of celebrating, and they all come together during this time. The houses of the village are constructed with traditional Mahogany walls and thatched roofs, and travellers are welcomed wholeheartedly into the villagers, and often the houses.

The most prevalent form of celebration during the Yap Day Festival is dance. Yapese cultural traditions come to life and are shared with the world through the various types of dance performed and passed down here over hundreds of years. Some of the most popular dances are the stick dance, the Pohnpei, and other forms of dance involving kneeling. With a swish of skirt, colour and song come together into a mesmerizing rhythm.

Many events and competitions are held during Yap Day, and visitors are encouraged to participate in them. However, be mindful that the Yapese have specific rules for visitors to the festival on Yap Day. They are not very fond of cameras, and find it rude and offensive when people point them and shoot. They can get pretty intolerant. Because of this, cameras and video cameras are not recommended. Most of the guests who come for the Yap Day Festival are from the neighbourhood villages, but international visitors are openly welcomed.

The weather in Micronesia is coastal and splendid most of the year. By March it is typically spring, dry and humid at times. When you visit Yap Island for the festival, stick to their rules. There is no restriction on what kind of clothes you should wear, and shorts or jeans are commonly worn. As far as food is concerned, the Micronesian palette leans on the spicy side, and it is advisable to carry some tablets in case of an upset stomach. The best way to go to the Yap Day Festival is with an open mind; and be prepared to take home a lot of memories.

Photos

Map

Puzzle

When to Go to Yap Day

The Yap Day Festival is celebrated the first weekend of March every year.

Odds n' Ends

The Yap visitors’ bureau is also of great help and provides a lot of information about the schedule for the Yap Day Festival.

Video

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Language Guides

Japanese is one of the languages spoken in Micronesia, Federated States of. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


Discussion

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