Cultural festival of music and dance, and celebration of the constitution)
The most important event in the Cook Islands calendar is the annual celebration of self rule, granted in 1965.
Formerly called the Constitution Celebrations, it was renamed in 2001 because the Prime Minister of the time wanted a Cook Islands Maori name to capture the essence and joy of the annual fe
stival. "Te Maeva Nui" translates as "the major or most important celebration".
Each year, performing artists from Rarotonga and the outer islands gather at the National Auditorium in Rarotonga to present new dances, songs, drum beats and costumes expressing the cultural theme chosen for that particular year.
The theme for this year's celebration is TE RAKEI O TOKU MATAKEINANGA/ENUA
Teams from the outer islands will also be selling crafts and other produce from their home during island days throughout the festival.
This year's celebrations are the biggest for many years and mark the 46th anniversary of the Islands gaining independence.
Other events during the festival include coconut husking, and a Maori food festival.