Micronesia: holidays, national customs
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st 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.
|11th January||Constitution Day of Kosrae|
|February 24||Sokeh’s rebellion day in Pohnpei|
|March 31||Culture day in Pohnpei|
|March April||Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday|
|March||Yap State Day|
|10th of May||Constitutional Day of the Federated States of Micronesia|
|September 8||Kosrae Liberation Day|
|September 11||Liberation day from Pohnpei|
|October 1||Chuuk State Constitution Day|
|October 24||United Nations Day|
|November 3rd||Independence Day of the Federated States of Micronesia|
|24th of December||Yap State Constitution Day|
Source: Countryaah – Micronesia Holidays
betel nuts Betel nuts are chewed on the Yap Islands, Palau and the Mariana Islands. For this, the nuts of the areca palm are chewed together with lime powder from crushed mussels and pepper leaves. The result is a reddish juice that has an intoxicating effect. People who chew betel nuts can be recognized by their reddish to black teeth.
Sabau or Saka
These are used as intoxicants on the islands of Kosrae and Pohnpei. It’s similar to drinking kava in Polynesia.
The pepper plant is crushed into powder and mixed with water. The mixture is then pressed through the bark of the hibiscus tree.
The drink is usually drunk in a group. For this, half a coconut shell is filled with saka and passed around.
Federated States of Micronesia: Sightseeings
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that FM stands for the nation of Micronesia as a two-letter acronym.
The main islands of the Yap Islands are Map, Yap and Tomil-Gagil.
The island of Tomil-Gagil was separated from the island of Yap in 1901 by a canal built by the Germans. The highest mountain is Mount Matade, the provincial capital is Colonia with 1,200 residents. On the island is the cable station of the Transpazifik-Kabel, also built by the Germans in 1905, which connects the island with Japan and the Philippines.
The island’s society is divided into a complex caste system or groups. The division is based on: old men, adult men, old women, adult women and women with children. The groups live separately from one another in many areas in everyday life. So people only eat together in their group, for which there are also different cooking houses. In addition to the cooking houses, there are other types of houses such as menstrual houses, boat houses and residential houses. These can be seen well in the village of Bechiyal. Here you can visit the largest pebai, the meeting house of the village, and one of the oldest faluws, the meeting house of the young men, as well as the stone money from Yap, which looks like old millstones.
- Architecture The houses were built on hexagonal stone platforms, so-called Dayif, which protrude approx. 1 m above the surrounding soil. These in turn were positioned on stone terraces called Wunbey. The individual houses are connected with stone footpaths made of gray Schist stone. Such paths were also built as a link between the individual villages.
- Path system on Yap The paths were raised and provided with a sophisticated drainage system. The surface was paved with stone slabs. These paths are great for walks in the shade of the trees that surround them.
- Wanyan Beachon the island of Rumung in the north of the archipelago.
- DivingYap is blessed with an excellent underwater world. The diver will have unique views of manta rays and mandarin fish.
The Chuuk Islands, the former Truk, are of volcanic origin. The capital of the archipelago is Weno on the island of the same name. It is the largest city in the state of the Federated Islands of Micronesia. About 16,000 people live on the island. The highest mountain is Mount Tonoken with a height of 370 m.
- Mount Tonaachaw A meeting house used to stand on the mountain, from which the then chief Sowukachaw ruled the island.
- DivingThe wrecks of around 60 Japanese ships as well as numerous American and Japanese aircraft can be explored on diving excursions.
- Traditional lovesticks The islanders signaled their interest to the girls with the individually decorated sticks carved from wood from mangrove trees. This remembered the shape of the stick. The young men woke the girls with their love sticks by sticking the sticks through the woven walls of the huts and waking the girls. If the girl saw the right stick. It got up and left the hut.
The Pohnpei Islands are also quite untouched and of volcanic origin. In the center of the island of Pohnpei is the second highest mountain in Micronesia, Mt. Nahna Laud, with a height of 798 m. The highest mountain is on the Mariannen Islands. Mount Agrihan is 965 m high. The inland is characterized by rainforest as well as numerous rivers and waterfalls. The cliff of Sokeh Island rises 274 meters above sea level. It is located north of the island and can be seen from the capital, Kolonia. Kolonia has approximately 3,300 residents and should not be confused with the capital of Yap, Colonia.
- Natural beauties Liduduniap waterfall, Kepirohi waterfall, Lehnpaipohn waterfall with bathing pool.
- Sokehs RockA hiking path leads to this ledge which offers a wonderful view of the island. Some Japanese cannons from WWII are still standing on the ledge.
- Nan MadolNan Madol is one of the most impressive stone cities in the Pacific and is located in the east of the island on a barrier island. Nan Madol is often called “Venice of the Pacific” because it is criss-crossed by canals. It was the royal seat of the Saudeleurs dynasty, which ruled from the beginning of the 13th century to the early 17th century. The city was built on an area of 80 hectares on a total of 92 artificial small islands. The basalt stones used weighed up to 50 tons. The construction of the city, which lasted about 300 years, began around 1100. The city was divided into a lower town, Madol Pah, which contained the administrative and royal residential and ceremonial houses, and an upper town, in which the religious center is located and found the tombs of the city. It is assumed that in the center of the city approx. 500 – 1000 people have lived. The largest structure was the royal tomb of Nandauwas, which was surrounded by several square stone walls that were up to 7.5 m high and up to 80 m long. The city is best viewed by boat or kayak.
- Spanish WallThe Spanish Wall in the capital, Palikir, is the only remnant of the Spanish fort.
The Kosrae Islands are of volcanic origin with rainforest inland. The island is still spared from tourism. The highest mountain is Mount Finkol with a height of 629 m. The capital is Tofol. Here is the Kosrae Museum, which exhibits artifacts as well as an outrigger canoe. The main attraction of the island is the ruined city of Lelu on the island of the same name.
- Lelu The city was built around 1250 on a small island in the east of Kosrae and was inhabited until around 1850. It was the power and ceremonial center of the island. The city was built from high basalt stone walls that could reach a height of up to 6 m. As in Nan Madol, there are large tombs inside the city. A canal almost a kilometer long ran through the city. In the 17th century, Lelu conquered the city of Nan Madol on the island of Pohnpei. Around 1800 about 20 high-ranking chiefs lived in the center of the city, the approx. 50 lower-ranking chiefs lived in the rest of the city. It is believed that a violent typhoon around 1800 marked the beginning of the city’s demise.
The Insiaf mission station is in the north of the island.
- Diving and SnorkelingThe surrounding reefs are ideal for diving and snorkeling. Here, too, you can find remains from World War II in the form of shipwrecks and crashed aircraft that can be submerged.
- SurfingIt is best to surf from July to October.