This is one of the world’s truly unique festivals that combines talent, style and rich cultural heritage (along with fire, of course!) to create an event that is a spectacular to witness.
Fireknife dancing is a traditional Samoan art form which sees dancers use a range of lit knives (one single and two double) with a decorative hook and a wooden or metal handle to complete their routine. Classic moves such as spins (Vili Tasi/Vili Lua) catches, stamping and movement connections are required throughout and dancers are judged on their difficulty, speed and style. The aim is to portray a Samoan warrior with vigorous strength and energy.
Dancers wear a traditional Lavalava outfit (Polynesian wrap garment), accessorized with a Samoan bead/shell necklace and a magnificent head crown – they certainly look the part!
‘The championships sees competitors as young as six show off their fireknife skills in the arena!’
The championships are broken down into three categories: Junior (6-11), Intermediate (12-17) and Open Division (18+). The event is held over three days with the final three dancers competing for the title during the interval of the evening cultural show (Ha: Breath of Life) on the third day.
As you would expect with a Polynesian event, stage showmanship is second-to-none and you’ll be astounded by the vigour, animation and entertainment on show throughout the championship.
The Fireknife Championships is held on the Hawaiian island of Oahu each year at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This 42-acre theme park plays host to a number of cultural activities throughout the year including the Fireknife Championships which is part of the larger We Are Samoa festival.
Tickets are required and recommend to purchase in advance to ensure availability for both the preliminary rounds and the main event. Polynesian Cultural Center 55-370 Kamehameha Highway Laie, HI
The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is located around one hour from Honolulu. Driving is probably the easiest option and there is plenty of parking on site. However, those wishing to use public transport should take the number 55 bus from Alakea St + S Hotel St which will take you to right outside the PCC (approx. 1.5h).
Walking is the best way to visit the various aspects of the Polynesian Cultural Center and we recommend spending a full day exploring the site before heading to the Fire Knife Championships.
You can stay anywhere on the island of Oahu during the Fireknife Competitions. Competitors and their families do come from all over the world so some hotels may get booked up quite far in advance.
As Honolulu is only an hour from the Polynesian Cultural Center it may be a good idea to stay in the city for ease of access to hotels, restaurants and other activities.
Please see the map below with for a selection of hotels and Airbnb’s available during the Fireknife Championships.
As the World Fireknife Championships run over three days, you’ll have plenty of time to explore both the island and the Polynesian Cultural Center during your time in Oahu. The PCC is open Monday-Saturday 11.30-20.45 so you’ll have the whole day to enjoy the activities on offer here.
Located on the northern edge of the island, the PCC is a cultural theme park which gives visitors an insight into Polynesian culture. Wander through the six cultural villages representing the island life of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga. Learn about their traditional activities and dine on local cuisine before seeing the main event: The World Firefnife Championships.
The next Fireknife Championships will take place from the 9-11th May 2019.
Rad Season is providing you with hotels and Airbnbs at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay for Fireknife Championships 2019 using the map below!
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