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Heiva I Tahiti's insider take:

Beginning around the last week of June, the islands rumble with traditional celebrations that include Tahitian song and dance performances, canoe races, and competitions in spear-throwing, fishing, and archery. The fact that Heiva abuts the French holiday of Bastille Day (July 14) gives locals an excuse for a full three weeks of major partying. Be warned: Resorts complain that workers don't always show up during Heiva, and Papeete, where the major festivities are held, sees a massive influx of people and prices jacked up by 200 percent.

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