Calendar of the Tao

The lunar year of the Tao is divided into 3 seasons:

1) Teyteyka, the hot season which is a period for collective celebrations and the time for building -> from July to November

2) Amian, the cold season “when everyone stays put” -> from November to March

3) Rayyon, fishing season for migratory fish -> from March to July

Religious festivals and activities

February – Kapowan

Lake Xiatienchih
Lake Xiatienchih

Going up to the mountain, making flying fish racks, picking betel pepper (Piper betel), pinang or betel nut (Areca catechu) and night-scented lily. Fixing and finishing vessels. It’s the time for the flying fish season opening ceremony, the maiden voyage of the year and every boat team is gathering and having the dinner ceremony.

March – Pikawkaod

Flying fish
Flying fish

Flying fish ceremony: holding the ceremony to send the flying fish home and summoning the flying fish to come from the ocean.

April – Papataw

Ceremony rowing canoe
Ceremony rowing canoe

At the beginning of April, a small-boat fishing festival starts small-boat fishing during the daytime. In the middle of the month the crab ritual is held. The millet ceremony is held and the wife picks taro to prepare the taro cake.

May – Pipilapila

Storing of dried fish. Making mortar and pestle out of wood. The blessing festival, people who plan to build houses or ships begin to cultivate taro.

June – Apiavean

Millet harvest season ceremony »

July – Omood do Piavean

The completion ritual of the main house, the working room and the pavilion.
The completion ritual of the one-person, the two-person and the ten-person ships (see boat launching ceremony).

August – Pitanatana

Collecting clay and making pottery.

September – Kaliman

The flying fish season ends.

October – Kaneman

Making lime and burning the grass on the mountain.

November – Kapitoan

Ritual festival (end of the year), the Tao give thanks for the year to their gods and nature – similar to Thanksgiving in western culture. Millet sowing. Cutting down reed stems.

December – Kaowan

Production of various handicrafts.

January – Kasiaman

Repairing large ships, catching seabirds, cutting hair.


Botel-Tobago, The Island of Men ( Videoof ancient traditional Tao songs and ceremonies according to the lunar calendar, directed by Véronique Arnaud, 1972

2 thoughts on “Calendar of the Tao

  1. This information was quite useful for me. I am writer as well as anthropologist for environment. From this particular standpoint, I would like to know any local Haiku (Japanese poem composed by 5-7-5 syllabuses) with the stress of rich seasonal changes. So, local people may have written some similar poems emphasizing the beauty of every season. Thank you, Hori Takeaki (

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