Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vanuatu’s Nalawan Festival Offers Traditional Cultural Experience

On Vanuatu’s remote island of Malekula the fierce Small Nambas warrior tribe have celebrated the start of a new season in the traditional calendar with offerings to the gods and custom ceremonies.

While the festival is one that has taken place through the ages, 2010 will mark the third year travellers have been invited to witness and take part in these traditional rituals.

The Nalawan Festival will take place on 11 and 12 August 2010 at Labo Village in Malekula’s South West Bay. A pig killing and spectacular Nukofo custom dance will kick off the two days of celebrations which will also include grade-taking ceremonies, the ancient Noho ritual which sees villagers make offerings to the gods of the land.

This is a rare opportunity for adventurous travellers and yachtsmen to enjoy the rich tradition and customs of Malekula’s South West Bay and get an authentic taste of Vanuatu life with visitors invited to take part in local craft and traditional meal preparation.

Surrounded by crystal clear water and white sand there’s plenty of opportunity to snorkel the spectacular protected reef, relax on the beach or dance the night away to the traditional Ni-Vanuatu string band!

Packages are being offered to those wanting to attend the Nalawan Festival. The two-day event includes participation in the festival and lunch daily and is priced at 5,000VT per adult (approx. AUD $56.00) and 2,500VT per child (approx. AUD $28.00). The festival is perfect for yachtsmen exploring these islands. Or for intrepid travellers, flights can be booked to South West Bay with Air Vanuatu and bungalow accommodation can be found at Alo Lodge in Wintua Village.

The Lembinwan Yacht Club & Lagoon Tours are offering add-on activities on August 9 and can be contacted on +978 5372341 and a Ten Stick Island Snorkel tour is being offered on 10 August.

Nalawan Festival reservations are advised and can be made by calling Willie Isno on +678 5366 168 or Yegor Makhiboroda on +678 5617845.

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