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Cook Islands Constitution Day 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

The Cook Islands' inhabitants can trace their ancestry back to 1500 B.C., when the Mori, who were renowned for their navigational skills, courage, and combat prowess, inhabited the Polynesian islands.

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August 4 is Constitution Day in Cook Islands. Cook Islanders celebrate their independence from European colonialism on this day. Constitution Day is the concluding and most anticipated event of ‘Te Maeva Nui,’ a week-long celebration of the culture, history, and heritage of the Cook Islands. The Ministry of Cultural Development organises events such as concerts, traditional reed dances, float parades, choir performances, cookouts, and community sports competitions. Many Cook Islanders who reside in Australia and New Zealand return to their homeland for the celebrations.

The background of Cook Islands Constitution Day

The Cook Islands’ inhabitants can trace their ancestry back to 1500 B.C., when the Mori, who were renowned for their navigational skills, courage, and combat prowess, inhabited the Polynesian islands. The Mori were born combatants and explorers who created a complex and highly accurate star-based navigational system. Their exploits were far more daring than those of European explorers who arrived on their shores thousands of years later. Around 800 A.D., the earliest Polynesians appeared on Rarotonga, the most populous of the present-day Cook Islands. Approximately 87% of Cook Islanders are of Mori descent.

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The first European explorer to discover the Cook Islands was Alvaro de Mendana in 1595, followed by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros in 1606. However, this region is synonymous with Captain James Cook. Captain Cook did not name the islands after himself when he discovered them in 1773, contrary to conventional belief. Some fifty years after Captain Cook’s arrival on Rarotonga, Russian cartographers decided to name the island after him.

In the 1800s, the advent of Christian missionaries had a significant impact on the Cook Islands. Numerous cultural practises, including singing, dancing, and percussion, were prohibited, disrupting the way of life of the locals. The Cook Islands fell under British control in 1888 out of concern that the French might acquire this vast tropical paradise. The colony of New Zealand annexed the Cook Islands in 1901, despite opposition from the tribal chiefs who governed the islands independently. The Cook Islands remained a protectorate until 1965, when Sir Albert Henry was elected as the country’s prime minister and independence was declared. There is still a connection between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, but the inhabitants govern themselves and New Zealand is responsible for their national defence.

Activities on COOK ISLANDS Constitution Day

Engage in a game of rugby

The Cook Islands’ national and most popular sport is rugby. As part of Constitution Day celebrations, locals typically play touch rugby on the shore.

Create a headdress

The ‘ei katu’ is a floral wreath wrapped around the cranium. These headpieces are frequently worn by Cook Islanders during national and cultural celebrations. The natives create them out of vibrant shells, leaves, and flower petals. You can view DIY tutorials online and personalise your ‘ei katu.’

Learn about the history of Cook Island

Cook Island has an extensive past. There is so much to learn about this Commonwealth nation, from the Polynesians who were expert mariners and navigators to the famous European explorers and political activists who tirelessly fought for independence.


A significant export of the Cook Islands is black pearls, and the islands are home to a rare variety of pearls, including the golden pearl.

Captain Cook never explored the more magnificent Cook Islands; he only set foot on Palmerston Island, one of the smallest and least significant islands.

Therefore, there is no real estate market or selling of properties on Cook Island, as all homes are passed down through generations from parents to children.

Cook Island is devoid of any reptiles.

By government edict, buildings in the Cook Islands cannot be taller than a coconut tree.


Year Date Day
2023 August 4 Friday
2024 August 4 Sunday
2025 August 4 Monday
2026 August 4 Tuesday
2027 August 4 Wednesday
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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