Palau: Holidays and Events
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.
|January 1||New Year|
|March, 15||Youth day|
|March April||Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday|
|5th of May||Seniors Day|
|June 1||Presidents’ Day|
|July 9||Constitution Day|
|September 6||Labor Day|
|October 1||Independence day|
Source: Countryaah – Palau Holidays
Regular sporting events
Palau Sportsfishing Association fishing competition
The climate on Palau is tropical, which means it is hot and humid with average temperatures of 26-30 degrees Celsius. The average temperatures vary very little over the year.
The dry season lasts from December to April.
The rainy season is from May to November.
The average annual precipitation is 1,500 – 2,000 mm.
Palau is actually outside the typhoon belt, but is still hit by typhoons from time to time.
The best time to travel to Palau
The best time to travel is the dry season from December to May.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
Palau: national customs
Traditionally, money, called Udoud, in Palau consisted of yellow or orange pearls made from glass or clay.
The round pearls were the ones with the lowest value, while the oval pearls had a higher value. The money pearls were not made on Palau itself. It is believed that they came from Malaysia or Indonesia. Nowadays the pearls are used on occasions such as weddings, births or deaths.
Women of high standing wear necklaces from this old money as jewelry.
Another form of money consisted of shield tiles. This was heated and poured into molds. This is how oval plates were created. The larger and lighter the platelets, the more valuable they were.
Chewing betel nuts
The betel nut is traditionally chewed on the Yap Islands, Palau and the Mariana Islands. For this, the nuts of the areca palm are mixed with lime powder made from crushed mussels and pepper leaves. The result is a reddish juice that has an intoxicating effect. You can recognize the people who chew betel nuts by their reddish-black teeth.
It is not customary to tip.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that PW stands for the nation of Palau as a two-letter acronym.
Southern lagoon of the Rock Islands
The Rock Islands – also called Chelbacheb Islands – are located in the western Pacific and belong to the Palau Islands. The area of the islands also called Chelbacheb is about 40 km long and starts with the island of Koror and extends to the island of Peleliu. An outer coral reef runs along both sides of the islands. There are over 50 marine lakes in the southern lagoon of the Rock Islands. The protected area of the southern lagoon has an area of approx. 1,000 km².
The densely overgrown and limestone Rock Islands – there are a total of 445 of these islands – protrude mushroom-shaped from the sea. They are all of volcanic origin. Caves can be found in these small islands that were created by washing out the limestone. These small rock elevations from the sea are once again protected by internal coral reefs. These reefs consist of more than 300 different types of coral.
In the southern lagoon, the Rock Islands enclose 52 lakes called “marine lakes”. In the sea in this relatively small area there are many different species of fish – many endemic species (only occurring here), some subspecies of jellyfish, rays, giant clams – 13 types of shark also live there.
The offshore and protective reef is provided with caves, passages, caverns and stone rock gates.
The “Southern Lagoon of the Rock Islands” was entered in 2013 on both the UNESCO World Heritage List and the World Heritage List.
With around 11,000 residents, Koror is by far the largest city in the country. It is located on the island of the same name Koror.
Bai from Airai
The Bai of Airai, on the island of Babeldaob, is the only surviving men’s house that dates back to ancient times. It can be viewed. The men’s houses, Bai, were figuratively painted with white, yellow, red and black paint. Roosters, shell money, bats, fish, sharks and scenes from everyday life were shown. Men’s houses, also known as chief houses, were built by well-paid specialized craftsmen. They were the only house types that were so elaborately decorated. In the Völkerkundemuseum in Hamburg you can see parts of a bay that is decorated with depictions of money. In the years 1908-1910 there were around 150 Bais in Palau. These were documented and partly also photographed by the anthropologist couple Augustin and Elisabeth Krämer during these years. Almost all except the above have been destroyed by typhoons or during the Second World War. Not far from Airai Bay, in Ngarageluk, there used to be a two-story men’s house, which was unique in Micronesia. By the way, today’s storyboard, a wooden board painted with stories, developed from the art of house painting, which is sold to tourists.
With its imposing construction, the government building in Melekeok by far towers over the other buildings in the 391-resident capital of the country.
Belau National Museum
The Belau National Museum in Koror has a fine collection of art objects such as shell money, jewelry, tools and other everyday objects. The exhibition offers a good insight into the island’s past. Souvenirs of high quality can be bought in the museum shop.
The Etpison Museum in Koror also houses a rich collection of art objects. There are also a number of exhibits and photos by the German anthropologist August Krämer, who did research on the island between 1909 and 1910. August Krämer conducted anthropological studies not only in Palau but also in Samoa, which are still of great relevance today. His two books on Samoa are still considered basic literature around the world. Other exhibits are canoes and the traditional men’s houses, the Bais.
The basalt monoliths in the northern part of the island of Babeldaob in Badrucchau and Melekeok, the origin of which is not clear, consist of a total of 37 monoliths. Some weigh up to 5 tons. There are also abandoned settlements in the same region.
Imeungs on Babeldaob
In the Imeungs on Babeldaob are the ruins of an abandoned city.
These are scattered all over Palau. The most impressive are located southeast of Ngchemiangel Bay on Babeldaob Island. The terraced mountains were mainly used for agriculture. It is believed, however, that the larger pyramid-shaped mountain tops were not only used for agriculture, but also for cultic purposes. The terraces were built from the 5th century BC onwards. And were used until around 1000/1400 AD. When the Europeans arrived, most of these gardens had already been abandoned.
Palau International Coral Reef Center
This aquarium in Korror offers an insight into the underwater world of Palau. Mangroves, seagrass, reefs, corals and jellyfish can be visited here.
The Rock Islands are mushroom-shaped islands that rise from the lagoon with its emerald-colored water.
Diving and Snorkeling
There are a number of good diving and snorkeling spots on the islands; the underwater world of Palau is known for its large number of different types of coral. Due to the fighting in World War II, you can discover not only the interesting marine fauna but also numerous shipwrecks. Snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake on the Rock Islands is a fantastic experience. However, one should keep in mind that crocodiles also live in the lake, although it is said that they are only active at night. But you shouldn’t rely on that.
A particularly unforgettable sailing trip leads through the Rocky Islands.