or Semana Rapa Nui

Held each year in late January/early February, Tapati is organized on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) as a huge competition between groups, many of them families, each of which elects a beauty queen. It begins slowly but builds momentum as the fortnight goes on. Families score points by participating in a wide variety of competitions, including gastronomy, necklace-making, sculpting mo’ai, body painting, dancing, singing, horse racing, swimming and a modified decathlon.

In the most spectacular event, men, dressed only in the traditional thong and with their bodies painted, compete to slide down the side of a volcano, sitting on a kind of sledge made from the trunks of two banana plants.


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