Thursday, April 19, 2012

All Saints Day in French Polynesia

Well, another travel related blog today.

Last November I spent  four weeks in French Polynesia.  It was wonderful to visit five different islands during the trip and finally see what French Polynesia was like.  I have visited many Polynesian islands and the tropical island landscape was familiar, but the Tahitian and French cultures add something to these that is different and interesting.  Now in case you are wondering how I could afford to have a month in French Polynesia, remember that I travel as a frugal backpacker.  I was not staying in those overpriced bungalow resorts built out over the lagoon.  I was sleeping in a bunk bed in a hostel dorm room for about US$30 a night and living on French bread.  The month stay cost me about US$2000 total.  This is not including my plane ticket there from home, but does include inter island ferries and a plane ride.  If you are not willing to go that cheap, you can find lots of Bed and Breakfast places there, called Pensions, that cost around US$100 a night.  That is where the French tourists stay.

While I was there, French Polynesia celebrated the public holiday called All Saint's Day that falls on November 1st.  On this day, the islanders pay their respect to their dead relatives by cleaning up the graves of the departed.  They give the graves a fresh coat of paint and place flower arrangements on the graves.  Although many families make their own arrangements, there are also people selling flower arrangements in the market places and along the road side.

Below are some photographs taken on the islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Raiatea of the decorated graves and the flower sellers.  As you can see, the Red Ginger is a very popular flower there.



  1. Years ago we traveled through French Polynesia on our sailboat - another cheap way to travel :) Those flowers are lovely - gave me some ideas for arrangements since they all grow in my garden.

  2. Hi again africanaussie....I think you and I have similar interests. I am currently traveling around Malaysia on my own and found your travel blog for there very helpful when doing my research for the trip. Aloha