Must-attend PNG Festivals for 2019

Over the coming months, Papua New Guinea will showcase its culture and tradition courtesy of a line-up of festivals throughout the nation.

From tribal gatherings to mask festivals, the events draw tourists from around the globe, offering a first- hand appreciation of the celebrations, traditions and culture that continue to play a central role in PNG.

Here’s a rundown of the festivals of PNG throughout 2019…

National Mask Festival and Warwagira

Promoting the unique masks and culture of East New Britain, the Mask Festival offers an extravaganza of cultural dancing, ritual performance, story-telling and exchange – with a variety of arts and crafts also on display.

When: July 10-12

Where: Kokopo

Sepik River Crocodile & Arts Festival

The Sepik River is home to some of the world’s largest populations of both salt and freshwater crocodiles, and the ancient reptile has spiritual significance for the communities which reside there.

Running over three days, the Crocodile Festival pays homage to the mystical creature, highlighting its importance to the culture, welfare, and history of the region.

When: August 5-7

Where: Ambunti, East Sepik

Bougainville Chocolate Festival

Held in Arawa, Central Bougainville, the Chocolate Festival brings together cocoa farmers, chocolatiers, industry representatives and government officials in a bid to further improve this growing export industry.

It also offers the opportunity to sample the region’s renowned chocolate, made fresh from the finest beans.

When: August 7-8

Where: Arawa, Central Bougainville

The Enga Cultural Show

Enga is renowned in PNG as the only province where the people speak the same language, and each year the Enga Show highlights a traditional culture that is still largely intact.

A festival drawcard is the Sili Muli dancers of Enga with their iconic black-painted faces and unique headdress.

When: August 9-11

Where: Wabag, Enga

Hagen Show

Renowned as one of PNG’s finest and most popular cultural events, the Hagen Show draws tribes from all over the Western Highlands Province of PNG and neighbouring areas.

This large sing-sing features traditional dances, singing, ritual performance and feasting.

When: August 17-18

Where: Mt Hagen, Western Highlands

Goroka Show

Considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Goroka Show is a spectacle of sights, sounds and colour that combine to offer PNG’s largest cultural event. With a history that dates back to the 1950s, this massive sing-sing draws over 100 tribes and showcases tribal music, dance, and culture.

When: September 14-15

Where: Goroka, Eastern Highlands

Morobe Show

The only show of its type in the country, the Morobe Show celebrates the culture, agriculture, horticulture, and livestock of Morobe Province.

Considered one of the biggest events on PNG’s annual calendar, it features cowboy events, traditional dancing, rides and entertainment, along with commercial, agricultural and horticultural displays.

When: October 12-13

Where: Lae, Morobe

Huhu War Canoe Festival

Traditional culture and the unique war canoes of mainland Milne Bay are the focus of the Huhu War Canoe Festival, which this year returns to Alotau.

The event is designed to showcase the region’s maritime tribal traditions and includes vivid re-enactments of war raids against the backdrop of an intimate, authentic village setting.

When: October 25-26

Where: Alotau, Milne Bay

The Kenu and Kundu Festival

Featuring war canoes, the beat of kundu drums and warriors in traditional dress, the Kenu and Kundu Festival showcases the fascinating culture of Milne Bay and its surrounds.

The event’s highlight is the fiercely competitive canoe races where the colours painted on each canoe represent the region they come from, and warriors wearing traditional dress paddle to the fearsome beat of kundu drums.

When: November 1-3

Where: Alotau, Milne Bay

Karimui Show

Now in its second year, the Karimui Show in Simbu Province celebrates and fosters awareness of the region’s natural environment.

The festival runs over three days and features colourful sing-sings and unique rituals of the Simbu people of Karimui, who are famous for their plumed head-dresses and striking ceremonial face-paints.

When: November 20-23

Where: Simbu Province

Paga Hill Estate is a world-class, master-planned estate in the heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The waterfront site is the first comprehensively planned multi-use development in Papua New Guinea to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike.

The all-inclusive development will include vibrant public spaces and waterfront promenade, luxury hotels, residential apartments, restaurants, retail, commercial space, a Trade, Exhibition & Cultural Centre, restoration of WWII relics, marina precinct and a nearby international cruise liner terminal.