French Polynesians are fervent about celebrating Christmas and this month is marked by heavy shopping and lots of church-going. It’s a busy time for tourism, too, even though the wet season is taking hold.

Marquesas Arts Festival

This outrageously visceral arts festival celebrating Marquesan art and identity is held every four years; the next one is in 2019. Fortunately, there are usually ‘mini’ festivals in between and the next is scheduled for December 2017.

Hura Tapairu

In an intimate setting at the Maison de la Culture on Pape’ete’s waterfront, see up-and-coming traditional dance troupes give their all at this beautiful and inventive competition. It usually takes place during the first week of the month.

Salon Artisanal te Noera a te Rima’i

Where do Tahitians do their Christmas shopping? At this crafts fair of course. Find tifaifai (quilts), sculptures, handmade jewellery and plenty of plastic toys made in China. It’s at Aorai Tinihau Centre in Pirae till 24 December.