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How is Christmas celebrated in Fiji?

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: March 16, 2023

Christmas is a special time of year in Fiji. This festive holiday is celebrated by the majority of Fijians, and it is a time for families and friends to come together, exchange gifts, and enjoy delicious food. In this article, we will explore how Christmas is celebrated in Fiji, from the preparations leading up to Christmas Day to the various festivities that take place across the country.

Christmas Preparations in Fiji

In Fiji, Christmas preparations usually start several weeks before Christmas Day. Homes and businesses are decorated with colourful lights, ornaments, and tinsel. Christmas trees, either artificial or natural, are adorned with decorations and lights, and it is a common practice for families to gather together to decorate their homes.

Another traditional decoration used during the Christmas season in Fiji is the ‘masi,’ which is a traditional Fijian cloth made from bark. The masi is typically decorated with various Christmas motifs, such as the Nativity scene or Santa Claus, and is often used as a tablecloth or a wall hanging.

Fijians also prepare for Christmas by attending church services and participating in community events. Many churches hold special services and events leading up to Christmas, such as carol services, nativity plays, and choir performances.

Christmas Eve in Fiji

Christmas Eve is an important part of the Christmas celebration in Fiji. It is a time when families and friends come together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. Fijians often gather together for a big feast, which typically includes roasted meats, seafood, vegetables, and rice. Desserts such as fruitcake and cassava cake are also common.

After the meal, families may attend church services, participate in carolling, or gather together to exchange gifts. It is also a common practice to stay up late into the night, playing games, singing songs, and enjoying each other’s company.

Christmas Day in Fiji

Christmas Day in Fiji is a public holiday, and most businesses are closed. It is a time for families to relax and enjoy each other’s company. The day typically starts with a big breakfast, which may include traditional Fijian dishes such as kokoda, a dish made from raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and coconut cream.

After breakfast, families may attend church services, go for a swim or participate in other outdoor activities, or simply spend time together at home. For lunch and dinner, families typically enjoy a big feast, which may include roasted meats, seafood, vegetables, and traditional Fijian dishes such as lovo, a dish cooked in an underground oven.

Christmas Festivities in Fiji

In addition to the traditional Christmas celebrations, there are also various festivities and events that take place across Fiji during the holiday season. One of the most popular events is the Hibiscus Festival, which takes place in Suva, the capital of Fiji. This festival includes music, dance, food, and craft stalls, and is a great way to experience the festive spirit of Christmas in Fiji.

Another popular event is the Christmas Light-Up, which takes place in Nadi, a city located on the west coast of Fiji’s main island. During this event, the streets are lit up with colourful lights and decorations, and there are various activities and entertainment for people of all ages.

Volunteer in Fiji at Christmas

Experiencing Christmas in Fiji while volunteering there with GVI is an opportunity of a lifetime. GVI offers volunteer programs that allow participants to immerse themselves in the Fijian culture and traditions while contributing to sustainable development initiatives. During the holiday season, volunteers can take part in local Christmas celebrations and experience firsthand how Fijians celebrate this special occasion. From attending church services to participating in Christmas feasts and festivities, volunteering with GVI in Fiji during Christmas is an unforgettable experience that allows volunteers to make a meaningful impact while creating lasting memories.

In conclusion, Christmas is a special time of year in Fiji, where families and friends come together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. The festive season is marked by preparations such as decorating homes and attending church services, as well as Christmas Eve feasts and Christmas Day meals. The various festivities and events that take place across Fiji during the holiday season make it an even more special time of year, where visitors can experience the warm hospitality and festive spirit of this island nation.

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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