White Sunday fever in Apia

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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Osovale Lele with grandchildren, Amanda, Jeremiah and Omega.

Osovale Lele with grandchildren, Amanda, Jeremiah and Omega. (Photo: Ilia L Likou)

It’s that time of the year again where on the second Sunday of October; Samoa commemorates White Sunday.

Including all Samoans overseas, this is a celebration that is dedicated to the children of Samoa. 

And town has been busy all week with parents and their children doing shopping in preparation for this auspicious occasion. 

Sixty-two year-old Osovale Lele from Letava told Samoa Observer that ‘it’s the same preparation every year’.

“I came early with my three grandchildren to buy their stuff for White Sunday,  their father passed away in 2015,  so even though my son has passed away, I thank God that my grandchildren are still happy and healthy,” she said. 

Osovale said she would be buying suitable clothes for her grandchildren this White Sunday. 

Referred to as “Lotu a Tamaiti” in Samoan or Children’s Service in English, White Sunday is usually a day for children to perform skits, songs, dances and recite verses from the bible. 

Fourteen-year-old, Tomasi Lolo from Lalomauga couldn’t stop smiling yesterday as she held a shopping bag with her new dress in it. 

“I look forward to White Sunday every year because I will be given special treats from my parents like new clothes or shoes.

“This is because it’s not every day that our parents buy us expensive new clothes to wear on Sunday.”

It was also a happy day for PJ Nanai from the village of Matautu, Falelatai.

 “The sun and the dust did not stop me and my mother from walking around town to look for new clothes for me and my siblings. 

“We’re also looking for a barber shop to cut my hair because I’ll be Sarah in one of our performances tomorrow morning.

“White Sunday is the only time when we can choose whatever we want and our parents always buy us what we want to make us feel special.”

The children practice for several weeks before the big day, putting on skits from Bible stories, singing songs, and often the older children will be responsible for the day's sermon or message.

Here are some photos from yesterday.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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