Yap Day – March 1, 2023

Yap Day is celebrated on March 1 in Yap State, one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia. Today, the island natives celebrate all things Yap — their culture, food, tradition, family, and of course, scuba diving. With cultural dances, traditional crafts, adornments, demonstrations, and competitions, it is easily the most colorful and exciting day of the year.

History of Yap Day

Yap Day is celebrated in Yap State, but outsiders are jubilantly welcomed to participate in the festivities. The Yapese tradition not only recognizes and celebrates the Yap but also preserves their cultural identity. Tourists from all over the world are encouraged to visit and learn about Yap, its people, and to take part in their unique customs. Expect a fun day of competitions and entertainment.

With vivid colors bringing the Yap culture to life, demonstrations ensue in customary ceremonial attire. Yap Day is also that time of the year when manta rays are at their peak mating season and cluster over the lagoon to dance in unison.

The surrounding villages compete in dancing contests, coconut grading, tree climbing, and weaving competitions. At the end of the day, everyone’s a winner as the Yap culture is celebrated. Everywhere you look, you’ll find displays of traditional attire, rope making, canoe building, bamboo raft making, and assembling grass skirts.

Yap Day timeline

1500 B.C.
Early Natives

Yap is populated by migrants from Eastern Indonesia and the Philippines.

1526
Yap is Discovered

Portuguese explorer Diego DeRocha discovers Yap.

1800 — 1860
Intermittent Trading

The trade of sea cucumbers between Europeans and the Yapese begins.

1874
Spain Takes Over

Spain claims sovereignty over Yap.

Yap Day FAQs

Why is Yap Day celebrated?

In 1968, the Yap Islands Congress created Yap District Day to preserve Yapese culture.

What language is spoken in Yap?

The people of Yap Island speak Yapese.

What currency does the island of Yap use?

The Yap islands group is part of Micronesia and has a very peculiar currency called stone.

Yap Day Activities

  1. Learn about Yap culture

    There is a lot to learn about Yap culture, history, and its people. Discover interesting facts about their stone currency, eat and drink local food, take plenty of photos, and buy traditional craft souvenirs.

  2. Learn the Yap dance

    Gather a group of friends and attempt to learn the Yap dance. There are countless videos available online where you can learn the basics.

  3. Have a Yap feast

    Indulge in the traditional Yap meals, including yams, taro, bananas, breadfruit, and reef fish.

5 Interesting Facts About Yap

  1. There are four islands

    The Yap Main Islands are made up of four separate islands: Yap Island proper (Marbaq), Gagil-Tamil, Maap, and Rumung.

  2. The capital of Yap

    Colonia is the capital of the State of Yap.

  3. The population of Yap

    In 2010, the population of the Yap region totaled 11,377.

  4. Yap’s history and folktales

    Myths and legends are passed from generation to generation, with songs, dances, stories, and paintings.

  5. Their language is difficult to learn

    The Yapese language is likely one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn.

Why We Love Yap Day

  1. It’s a celebration of a small but rich culture

    We at National Today take pride in being a platform that highlights rich cultures from around the world. Small but impactful and rich with tradition, Yap Day celebrates a unique community that has much to offer.

  2. It's the most colorful day of the year

    With traditional dances, crafts, tattoos, competitions, and demonstrations in ceremonial dress, Yap Day is eagerly anticipated throughout the year.

  3. Yapese people are unique

    Yap history is full of myths, legends, and magic. The Yapese believe in weather magic, and their folklore is passed down from generation to generation.

Yap Day dates

YearDateDay
2022March 1Tuesday
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 1Sunday
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