Solomon Islands: Holidays, Climate, Customs
Religious festivals or holidays
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the time of Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Lent, which lasts for 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. Corpus Christi is celebrated on the second Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints' Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the first Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|March April||Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday|
|1st, 2nd or 3rd Saturday in June||Birthday party of the Queen of Engla|
|7th of July||Solomon Islands Independence Day|
|24th of December||Christmas eve|
|December 26||National Thanksgiving Day|
Additional holidays in the provinces
|2th of June||Isabel|
|21 July||Rennell and Bellona|
|4th of August||Makira|
|15th of August||Malaita|
|December 8||Western film|
At the beginning of December, the Festival of the Sea takes place in Gizo on the Western Island, with canoe races, fishing competitions and diving competitions.
Solomon Islands: climate
The climate of the Solomon Islands is tropical, i.e. hot and humid with average temperatures of 26-30 °C and 60-90% humidity.
However, the climate is tempered by southeast trade winds from April to November.
The average rainfall is around 3,500 mm per year. In the interior of the country or on the coasts exposed to the wind, however, precipitation can be considerably greater. During the typhoon season, typhoons reach the islands, which is of elementary interest not only for sailors. November to April is the rainy season when the northwestern pass winds blow.
In contrast to other archipelagos in the Pacific, the archipelagos rarely reach typhoons during the rainy season.
Due to the proximity to the equator, the sunset takes place all year round between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm. The darkness then sets in very quickly, without a long twilight phase.
The best time to travel to the Solomon Islands
The best time to travel is from June to September.
The typhoon season is over and the otherwise humid and humid climate is determined by light sea breezes and a calm sea.
From June to August there are also holidays and many festivals take place.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
Solomon Islands: national customs
Tattoos and face
carvings Tattoos are widespread, especially on Otong Java Island (has nothing to do with Java/Indonesia) and Anuta. On the Malaita Islands, patterns are carved into faces. These then scar into three-dimensional patterns. Sometimes the wounds are also provided with dark colored pigments.
hunting Shark hunting was originally spiritual. The islanders believed that sharks had divine powers.
The islanders revered the sharks as their ancestors. The sharks were attracted by rhythmically beating stones under water. They were then fed by hand. The village priest called out the name of a certain shark who swam to a boy who was standing on a stone in the water and feeding the sharks pork. First the small sharks were fed, then the big ones. The boy then mounted the largest shark and rode it through the lagoon.
The purpose of the ceremony was to protect the village from the sharks. The sharks should then read the people in peace, provided they were fed.
This ceremony is still practiced on Funaafu Island today. Sometimes with fatal outcome for the little boy concerned.
The colors black and red are taboo on Lausasi Island. Black is the color of the local pigs and the color red could be mistaken for blood by sharks. The taboo still applies today.
Red feather money on Temotu Island
The traditional red feather money on Santa Cruz was produced in long chains or strings. Incidentally, Santa Cruz is the largest island in the Temotu province.
The inner part of the rope is braided from brown pigeon feathers, which is then covered with the red feathers of the scarlet bird or cardinal bird. Around 600 of the birds have to be caught for a money string. Some feathers will then be plucked from them before they are released again. The two birds can only be found on Temotu Island.
The money is still used today as a bride price.
Although the bark fiber is more native to the southeast Pacific, the fabrics are also produced on some islands in the Solomon Islands, such as B. on Santa Isabel and Simbo.
There is no weaving mill in almost all of the Pacific Islands, except the Caroline Islands and the Santa Cruz Islands. The fabrics were and are made from the bark of the mulberry tree. This is first soaked for a few days and then tapped until the pieces have reached a multiple of their original size. Individual pieces are joined together by felting. This is how long fabrics are made. In Samoa and Tonga, these lengths can reach several hundred meters. The tapas are rolled up and given as gifts on special occasions.
The motifs are applied using stencils or matrices. Each archipelago has its own individual pattern.
Tip/Obolus to the village community
It is not customary to give tips.
There is no begging.
Today, however, you have to pay a fee to the villagers at many sights, beaches and in the villages. This custom is not uncommon in the Pacific. One should be prepared for this by carrying appropriate smaller amounts of money with you.
There is a lot of carving on the islands. Particularly noteworthy are figures intended for the bow of war canoes. They are the Solomonic form of the figureheads that are supposed to bring luck to the warriors.
It is not allowed to drink alcohol on the street in the cities. It is illegal to use any type of drug, including hashish or marijuana.
Solomon Islands: places of interest
NESCO World Heritage Sites
Coral Atoll East Rennell
The Coral Atoll East Renell is located on the southernmost island of the Solomon Islands, in the province of Bellona. The East Renell is the largest coral atoll in the world protruding above the surface of the water. The island is about 200 km south of Guadalcanal and about 180 km southwest of San Cristobal. Rennell, belongs to the island state of Solomon Islands and is a so-called upscale atoll. An upscale atoll has a belt of reefs and a central lagoon, which, however, is well above sea level. The forested island belongs to the province of Renell, Bellona and Indispensable Reefs with other atolls.
On the island there is a lake, the Te Negano approx. 155 km 2 in size, which was formerly a lagoon. There are numerous small limestone islands in the lake. The biodiversity of animals and plants is great, and there are many endemic (only living here) animals and plants. The area of the island is approx. 11,000 km² and that of the protected area is approx. 370 km². The sea - about 5 km from land - in front of the protected land area has also been included in the protection zone. The coral atoll East Rennell was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 1998.
The Parliament Building was completed in 1993. The architecture of the building is a palm frond construction.
Carved Wooden Posts
The carved wooden posts of the houses on Makira Island. The carvings have figural motifs and can reach a height of up to 4 m.
Museums and galleries
The National Museum of the Solomon Islands is a small museum that exhibits works of art and provides information about the history and customs of the individual ethnic groups.
National Art Gallery/Honiara
skull shrines on the island of Simbo and the Vonavona Island. Headhunting was very common in the Western Province in the 19th century. Untouched shrines full of skulls are still witnesses of this custom today.
The Malaita Islands have a number of man-made islands, particularly in the Langalanga and Lau lagoon. The islands were built on sandbanks or reefs by piling large sea boulders on top of one another. The islands are now inhabited by around 12,000 Malaitans, the residents of the island of Malaita. The oldest of the artificial islands date from the 15th century, but such islands are still being built today. They can reach a size of up to one square kilometer.
Ndolos in the Choiseul Islands is a stone carved burial chamber.
University of the South Pacific
The University of the South Pacific was founded in 1968. Due to the geography of the South Pacific states, the university is spread over many locations. The University of the South Pacific is funded by 12 states, these are:
- Cook Islands
- Fiji Islands
- Marshal Islands
- Solomon Islands
The main campus of the university is located in Suva, Fiji Islands. A total of around 16,000 students are currently studying at all branches. The University of the South Pacific offers the following degree programs:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Computer science
- Social sciences
- environmental Protection
hot springs and large foot fowl, megapod birds, also known as maulau, can be found here. The bird digs its eggs in the warm ground and lets them hatch, so to speak, through nature.
White sandy beaches where turtles lay their eggs and can be seen swimming in the water.
This is the largest salt water lagoon in the world. It is located in the western province of the Solomon Islands. The lagoon is around 700 km ², with around 200 islands in the lagoon, of which Vangunu Island is the largest.
For ornithologists, the Solomon Islands, with their almost 200 mostly exotic bird species, are a real paradise.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can be expected in the Solomon Islands.
Island jumping, i.e. visiting as many islands as possible, is an essential part of a vacation in the Solomon Islands.
All kinds of fishing can be done very well in the Solomon Islands, from deep sea fishing to fishing from the beach or from the cliffs. Since there is no commercial fishing, the number of fish is correspondingly high. One of the few regions in the world that has not yet been overfished is located here.
The Russel and Nggela archipelago and Ghizo Island (not to be confused with the city of Gizo) are particularly good for diving.
There are a number of attractive surfing spots.