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Flower Tahitian Christmas tree to learn details about Christmas tree in Tahiti

Tahitian Christmas tree

In this cultural article, we will talk about the Tahitian Christmas tree: its existence, the particular case of the ‘aito, when to install it and how to decorate it.

There are Christmas trees in Tahiti

To those who think that in Tahiti, there are only coconut and palm trees, or that Christmas trees only grow in temperate or cold regions (in the northern or southern hemisphere, places with snow … ).

It may surprise you, but there are Christmas trees in Tahiti.

The proof in images: in the background, it is indeed a Christmas tree. (For those who only believe what they see)

Tahititan christmas tree to illustrate that there is christmas tree growing in Tahiti

The most famous and coveted Tahitian Christmas tree : the ‘aito

Since you are on a Tahitian language learning site, we start with the definitions (and after, we will do the explanations).

Tahitian English Details
 Te tumu paina, te tumu rāau noera The Christmas tree Te tumu = The strain, the trunk, the foundation, the origin, the cause, the reason

Te tumu rāau = The tree

Te paina = The pine

Te ‘aito The warrior, the hero, the championThe iron tree
‘Aito Courageous

The ‘aito is indeed a Christmas tree.

It is known and prized for its hardness, hence its name of iron tree. Which makes it a quality material for making tiki.

 Tahitian English Details
Tiki or ti’i Traditional style statue, sculpture, idol Tiki is a word that is part of the English language (in the English dictionary).

Ti’i is written and pronounced this way in literary Tahitian because Tahitian does not contain the letter k in its alphabet.

See the lesson:  Alphabet, writing and pronunciation in Tahitian

Usually, in spoken Tahitian and in English, we use the word tiki

This is what a tiki looks like:

Tiki from Tahiti

When to install the Tahitian Christmas tree ?

Let’s go back to our Christmas trees.

From the beginning of December, Tahitians set up their Christmas tree (natural or artificial, ‘aito or not).

Some are in favor of installing the tree inside the house, others (those who have a Christmas tree planted in their garden) have it outside.

Why so soon would you tell me ?

  • To start the festivities, Christmas time earlier
  • To receive the gifts sooner (that’s the children’s response)
  • Or to enjoy the Christmas tree and its decorations for longer

How to decorate the Chrismas tree in Tahiti?

  • According to your tastes
  • Tap into your imagination, your inventiveness
  • Based on your interests
  • With what you have to hand

What I encountered in Tahiti, Christmas trees:

  • Classics: With balls and garlands
  • Monochromes: With the decorations (balls, garlands) of a single color
  • Ephemeral: With a coconut palm, leaf adorned with flowers
  • Covered with beer bottles (I’m not commenting on the interest in this case)
  • Covered with tin cans (for an outdoor Christmas tree, in the garden)

Christmas tree made in Tahiti with coconut leaf and flowers

And after ?

In this article, we learned more about the Tahitian Christmas trees: the case of ‘aito, details about the Tahitian decorating practices for Christmas trees. And also, we learned 4 vocabulary words and expressions. If the subject of Christmas and New Year interests you, here is another lesson: Christmas and New Years in Tahiti and in Tahitian – Particule Mā