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.
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.
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.
Art, Crafts, Clothing and More…
Traditional 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
Throughout 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.
Yap Day with yap divers…
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 the Yap Day 2015 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.
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.
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.