The Guide to the Niue Village Show Days
The life and blood of the Niuean culture are in its 14 villages, where each one hosts its own village show day once a year. The village show days in Niue are unmissable, providing a morning of fun, food and infectious community spirit. Head down to one of the village show days in Niue for a real dose of authentic Niuean culture.
For more information on each of the villages in Niue, see Understanding the Niue Villages.
When are the Village Show Days?
Each of the Niuean villages hosts its own show day one day a year. The show day season is between April and November. So with 14 villages, there are 14 opportunities between April and November to catch a village show day.
Show day dates change each year, announced throughout the year. They are typically held on a Saturday and start early morning until midday. See the Niue Tourism events page to see the latest confirmed show day dates.
What Happens at a Village Show Day?
A village show day in Niue showcases what the Niuean culture is all about: community, food, crafts and fun!
The villages’ women are talented craftspeople, making all sorts of woven items and jewellery for sale. Popular handicrafts include woven practical items, like bags, placemats, coasters, bowls, fans and more. Jewellery is made from tiny yellow snail shells (hihi) that have been collected in the forest. While you have no obligation to buy any crafts, just know that everything you see is individually handmade, so you won’t get another chance to buy when they sell out!
Dancing and Singing
Niueans love to sing and dance where Polynesian-style performances are all part of the show day experience. There is usually a stage or a performance are set up for entertainment to be performed, typically from the local school children.
Food is a huge part of the village show day experience where not only can you browse stalls of locally-grown produce but also grab some hot food from the umu! Umu is a traditional underground oven where pigs and chickens are slow-cooked alongside root vegetables and other local delicacies. It’s also your chance to try the revered uga (coconut crab), which often take centre stage for village events.
Games and Competitions
Finally, a village show day is not complete without some healthy competition and we mean that in the literal sense with local fruit and vegetables being judged! There are also competitions for the best woven crafts, the best embroidery, the best uga and more. Games also get underway, from spear-throwing to crab racing.
Dive into detail on different aspects of the Niuean culture in The Guide to the Niuean Culture for Travellers.
Niue Village Marine Days
As well as village show days, some of Niue’s villages host marine days during the same week as their village show day. Marine days are a day to celebrate the bounty of the sea, with reef fishing competitions, vaka (canoe) fishing competitions and more. The catch is celebrated at a community barbecue.
Barbecues typically take place in an evening at the village’s main sea track, where it’s customary to bring a contribution to the meal if you want to take part.
Other Events in Niue
If you miss out on a village show day or a village marine day, then there are plenty of other events that happen in Niue either once a year or once every two years. There are often community celebrations for holidays, such as Christmas, as well as some of the following events…
Happening on the first weekend after the New Year, Takai celebrates the New Year in this traditional Niuean event with a modern twist. Locals decorate their vehicles and drive from village to village giving out candy to passers-by. Check out How to Spend the New Year in Niue for more details.
Niue Arts and Culture Festival
A biannual event, the Niue Arts and Culture Festival typically falls around Easter, with a week of celebrations! See cultural activities happening in various villages around the island, from cultural performances to art exhibitions to yam-blessing ceremonies. Crafting, cooking, eating, it’s all happening in this multi-day event.
Ride the Rock
Previously known as “Round the Rock” and “Rally of the Rock”, Ride the Rock is an annual bike race around the island with two types of races to compete in. It’s a good excuse to ride the stunning bush trails and quiet ring road around the island with like-minded enthusiasts.
And there’s much more as listed in the 10 Biggest Events in Niue.