Fiji Festivals You Can’t Miss!
Or, you can. We wouldn’t expect you to hit all of them. Nevertheless, if you are wondering when is a good time to visit the islands of Fiji, then making your trip coincide with one of the amazing Fiji festivals is a great way to go. When it comes to celebrating, Fiji really knows how to throw a party. Expect a mix of South Pacific and Indian music, mouthwatering food stalls, spectacular parades and a real chance to mingle with the locals and discover Fiji’s diverse cultures. With that in mind, here are the festivals in Fiji well worth getting to!
Before we dive into this list of the best festivals in Fiji, check out The Guide to the Fiji Culture for Travellers to learn even more about the Fijian culture and how you can experience it.
1. Bula Festival
Unsurprisingly, there is a festival in Fiji called the Bula Festival! It’s held every July in Nadi as a feel-good festival celebrating all things Fiji. Watch parades with extravagant floats, live music, dancing and much more in this tourist-friendly festival. The highlight of the event is the crowning of “Miss Bula” for the beauty pageant. While you’re in Nadi, check out these 12 Awesome Things to Do in Nadi.
Where: Nadi, Viti Levu (Fiji’s mainland)
2. Hibiscus Festival
If you don’t get the chance to hit the Bula Festival, then you are in luck with its sister festival happening in Suva a few weeks later. The Hibiscus Festival is said to be the grander event of the two, making the capital city a lively place to visit during this time. Similar music, stalls, parades and performances occur as what happens at Bula, complete with its very own crowning of “Miss Hibiscus”. While you’re in the capital city, don’t miss these 10 Super Things to Do in Suva.
Where: Suva, Viti Levu
3. Friendly North Festival
Reminding the nation that it’s not all about Viti Levu, the Friendly North Festival promotes Fiji’s northern and second-largest island, Vanua Levu. Although less-frequented than Viti Levu, Vanua Levu still knows how to throw a party with this week-long festival in Labasa. Each day of the festival has a different theme celebrating the prominent cultures in Fiji before singing international praises during Global Night. While the Friendly North Festival is definitely a good reason to visit the island, here are some more reasons to head to Vanua Levu.
Where: Labasa, Vanua Levu (Fiji’s second-largest island)
4. Lautoka Sugar Festival
Aptly held in Fiji’s “Capital of Sugar”, the Lautoka Sugar Festival is a lively annual event with a big Indo-Fijian influence. Expect a booming atmosphere with Bollywood hits, amazing food stalls, activities and performances throughout the day. In true Indo-Fijian style, there is also a beauty pageant to crown Lady Sugar, Mr Sugar King, Miss Sugar Teens and Miss Sugar Princess.
Where: Lautoka, Viti Levu
Those lucky enough to make it to the isolated island of Rotuma in December will get to witness the celebrations of Fara! Rotuma has its own distinct culture compared to the other islands of Fiji where local performers go from house to house entertaining families around the island. It’s common for other families to join in on the celebrations as the performers go until there are huge groups of singers and dancers.
When: December on the lead up to Christmas (December 25th)
6. Fijian International Jazz and Blues Festival
A popular music festival that has captivated Fiji for the last few years (and doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon) is the Fijian International Jazz and Blue Festival. The three-day festival in May (and sometimes November) has international acts that any Jazz and Blues fans are bound to have heard of. Smaller evening events also happen throughout the year. Keep up-to-date on the Fiji Jazz & Blues Festival Facebook page.
Where: Denarau, Viti Levu
The Indian “Festival of Colours” also has its place in Fiji, making for a fun (and messy) day in February/March. Crowds gather in the parks or streets of Fiji’s largest cities and towns to throw coloured powders. The festival signifies reconciling relationships by forgiving and forgetting. Plus, it makes for some super fun photo opportunities!
When: February or March
8. New Year’s Eve Festivals
If you’re looking for a festival to head to on New Year’s Eve, then don’t miss the street parties happening in Nadi and Suva on Viti Levu. These family-friendly events have live music, stalls and a buzzing atmosphere on the lead up to the New Year fireworks. After that, bars and clubs will remain open for those who want to celebrate well into New Year’s Day. Check out Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in Fiji for more ways to celebrate the New Year in Fiji.
Where: Nadi and Suva
When: December 31st
9. Fiji Day
This public holiday on October 10 is also a great time to catch some festivals and events happening around Fiji. Fijians and Indo-Fijians celebrate Fiji’s independence from British colonial rule that occurred on October 10 1970, with themes of the day usually surrounding the union of different cultures while celebrating their differences. Each town and city has its own events to celebrate, whether it’s with military parades, speeches, street parties or performances.
When: October 10th
Not so much a public festival to attend, Diwali is still one of the most popular festivals in Fiji celebrated among families. Indo-Fijians celebrate Diwali, The Festival of Lights, in their homes, inviting family and friends for exchanging sweets and gifts. While in Fiji during the Diwali period, you’ll notice lavish decorations from the city centres to inside your resort. If you want to experience Diwali for yourself, the best thing you can do is book a homestay with an Indo-Fijian family during this time. Check out 10 Best Homestays in Fiji.
When: October or November