Yap Day dance

Yap Day

A unique cultural experience during manta mating season

March 1st and 2nd 2019, is the next Yap Day event, the island’s time to celebrate everything Yapese – culture, tradition, food, family, community… and scuba diving.

It’s the most colorful day of the year with traditional dances, crafts, tattoos, competitions and demonstrations in ceremonial attire. It’s also the peak of the manta ray mating season when trains of mantas take over the lagoon and dance in courtship.

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Yap Day is a Yapese celebration and cultural preservation ceremony that is very welcoming to outsiders. Tourists are encouraged to participate, learn about Yap, meet the people and take photographs.

During Yap Day, villages compete. Dances, coconut husking / grading, betel nut tree climbing and weaving are a few of the traditional contests.

Demonstrations include traditional attire, canoe building, rope making, net tying, bamboo raft making as well as grass skirt, kafar, basket and fan weaving.

In one day you can learn a lot about Yap culture, history, people, learn some interesting facts about stone money, eat and drink local food, take plenty of photos and buy traditional craft souvenirs.

Traditional dances open the ceremonies and continue into the evening that in 2015 included a special Men’s fire dance.

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Traditional and cultural presentations…

Stone Money is carried into the festival by the Men, as it was thousands of years ago, while the M.C. explains the value and history of it. Men carried stones like this that weighed more than 2,000 lbs.
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Art, Crafts, Clothing and More…

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yap-day-2013-46Traditional clothing, ceremonial dress, jewelry, art and crafts are presented and available to purchase from participating villages, organizations, schools and families.

Taste Yap’s local food, seasonal recipes

Traditional Dances

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yap-day-2015-3Throughout the day and afternoon there are a number of traditional dances.

Dances are performed in ceremonial attire either standing or sitting.

During the festivities you are welcome to walk around, get up close and fill your SD card with colorful Yapese culture.

Shown here is a Women’s sitting dance.

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Yap Day with Yap Divers…

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Yap Day coincides with the peak of the manta ray mating season, December – April, making for the most exiting manta diving of the year. Groups of mantas congregate in Yap’s lagoon and dance over the reef in courtship displays.

Each morning divers watch mantas interact in groups and afterwards take an air-conditioned ride to the festival to watch hibiscus skirts whip and here the crack of bamboo.

Yap Day is a unique cultural and big animal diving experience in one package– your dive schedule is planned so that you don’t miss the celebration.

The package includes eco tours and special inclusions, such as lunches served in a village between dives, as well as a private beach party.

Yap Day is the best big animal diving and cultural experience Yap has to offer.

The manta mating dance photos were taken during a Yap Day dive package.

Get up close and personal with some of the friendliest rays on the planet who glide over the head’s of divers all Winter long.

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More than mantas…
The Winter diving offers excellent cuttlefish encounters in mating pairs as well as year-round shark experiences and macro / critter diving. Our mating Mandarinfish dives happen every day at sunset.

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Plan Ahead

We are typically full for Yap Day, we encourage you to confirm your reservation with extra lead time to ensure availability. Please ask us for Flight Help for more information and travel assistance, receive FREE routes, prices and stops from your door to ours.

Package Options

• 4 nights / 6 dives $1,079
• 7 nights / 10 dives $1,799
• 10 nights / 16 dives $2,519
• 14 nights / 22 dives $3,279

Availability & Reservations

Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
ASALI
ASALI
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
Rene Sten
Rene Sten
04:06 12 Oct 18
Bill and his family run a great dive resort, rooms are spacious and comfortable. Restaurant and bar provide good range of food and drink. Bill and his dive guides know the reef intimately and the diving is spectacular. Bill and his family make for a very friendly and rewarding experience in Yap.read more
Ms. Malinda
Ms. Malinda
13:52 14 Oct 18
Great place to stay while visiting the island. Lots of activities to do with places to see & people to meet.read more
Jan Toman
Jan Toman
22:14 02 Nov 18
Great! GREAT! GREAT! Lovely place, lovely staff, great location for divers!
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