Vaiee joins Festival of Lights

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 11 December 2020, 7:00AM

For the past three years, Vaiee village on the south coast of Upolu has hosted a December lights show with every family, church and the entire village participating in the Christmas tradition.

This year, the committee in charge of the celebration has re-scheduled their yuletide lights display to coincide with the Government’s inaugural Festival of Lights which launches on Friday, 11 December, 2020.

Tamaitai Pulenuu for Vaiee, Silia Aniva Suli, told the Samoa Observer villagers initially planned to switch on their Christmas lights on 1 December.

However, the Vaiee Moli Pula Committee met and decided that Vaiee will join the Government's Festival Lights and give thanks and praise to the Lord after Samoa’s experiences in two trying years – 2019 with the measles and 2020 with COVID-19.

“We originally planned to switch on our lights on the first day of December but then the government announced their Christmas lights program so we have decided to cancel our lighting up and hold the lighting together with the government’s lights festival,” Silia said.

“That will be on [11 December]. But we did plan to turn on the lights on the first of December because that is what we usually do in Vaiee. But we will instead have our lighting together with the government to give thanks to the Lord in these years we have been faced with measles and COVID-19. We will switch our lights on Friday with the Government.”

The village hosts their “flashing Christmas lights” show annually, she said.

“We put on our flashing Christmas lights show every year, every single Christmas in the month of December,” said Silia.

“It has been three years since we started this. Always on the first day of December, we switch on our lights and the lights show goes on through Christmas Day.”

The lights show is not limited to the homes of families but covers “the entire village,” she added. The Vaiee Moli Pula Committee sees to it that everyone participates.

“It’s not just family homes. The lights show involves the entire village of Vaiee. We have a committee that enforces participation in the lights show. In our committee, we have about 80 members. Every family in our village participates in the lights show,” Silia said.

Contrary to popular belief, the Vaiee show is not a competition.

“It’s not a competition. It’s just what our village does every year and this is the third year for our lights show,” Silia said.

“As soon as the December moon shines, Christmas has struck and we turn on our Christmas lights.”

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 11 December 2020, 7:00AM

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