Nelson Akava and Dr Neti Tamarua-Herman clean their respective family graves at the Panama Cemetery in preparation for the annual Turama or All Saints Day today. MELINA ETCHES/23103116
Today marks Turama or All Souls Day, a significant occasion in the Cook Islands where families commemorate their departed loved ones by decorating their graves with fragrant flowers, candles, and lights to remember and honour those who have passed on.
tradition holds great importance, and each year more people in Rarotonga
participate in Turama, adorning family graves with colourful flower decorations
unique to the island.
Neti Tamarua-Herman and Nelson Akava were cleaning and hosing down their
respective family graves at the Catholic Panama Cemetery yesterday.
shared that her paternal grandparents from Manihiki rest in this cemetery. She
holds cherished memories of her grandfather, who travelled to Aitutaki to fetch
her when she was studying there and brought her back to Rarotonga.
his kindness, she expressed gratitude, saying, “He was such a nice man coming
to get us because we had no family in Aitutaki.”
is also decorating her mother and maternal grandfathers’ grave at the veterans’
Nikao Cemetery opposite the airport.
All Saints’ Day starts at sundown on October 31 and lasts until November 1.
This occasion is for those who are in Heaven – “they have completed the
journey” – and are named Saints, including the faithful who have died holy
the Catholic tradition, All Souls Day starts at sundown on November 1 and lasts
until November 2. During this time, the Catholic faith conducts commemoration
services for the dead.
Paul Donoghue earlier explained that in the Catholic community, All Souls Day
is when “we believe and pray for our loved ones who have passed on and who may
be still on the journey to heaven, who still need our help”.
are our loved ones, and it is important we don’t forget them and that we can
still be of assistance to them.”
evening, the Catholic Diocese of Rarotonga has scheduled a mass dedicated to
the deceased, followed by visits to the graves of both Catholic and
non-Catholic individuals across different districts.
Catholic Diocese Turama programme is as follows: St Paul’s Parish Titikaveka at
4:30pm, St Mary’s Parish Arorangi at 5pm, St Joseph’s Cathedral Avarua 6pm Mass
at the Panama Cemetery and Sacred Heart Parish Matavera at 7pm.