Church pulls plug on 13 Days of Christmas
The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) has cancelled its popular 13 Days of Christmas programme as the deadly measles epidemic wrecks havoc on Samoans' preparations for the festive season.
The wife of the C.C.C.S. Reverend at Vaitele Uta, Tauvela Su'a, confirmed the decision of the church hierarchy and added that it was due to the Samoa government's state of emergency declaration last Friday.
"We had a discussion with TV1 on Tuesday and the decision was made for the cancellation of the 13 Days of Christmas programme," she said.
She also confirmed that the schools, which were scheduled to be part of the televised programme, pulled out after the measles epidemic was declared last month.
"Yes schools were first, but we still negotiated with TV1 and they said they were able to cover, but it was the last orders enforced (last Friday) that cancelled it altogether."
TV1 already has a programme to replace the live performances, added Tauvela. The programme this year will comprise replays of performances from previous years, which will start on December 12 and end on Christmas Day.
She added that the performers who were scheduled to take the stage this year will do so next year.
"We know they have all been prepared and the congregation have also prepared, the letter notifying all of them regarding the cancellation of the programme, but get ready for next year, God willing."
Tauvela said prior to the cancellation, the matter was discussed with both the TV1 management and the Vaitele Uta CCCS agreeing that it was the right thing to do.
Last year it was all about Christmas lights and music from the 12 groups that performed at the 21st annual 13 Days of Christmas programme, and included church choirs, ministries and colleges.
Traditionally, the Ministry of Police’s Choir kick starts the performances on the first night but that will not happen this year.