Prayers and thanksgiving usher in new decade
While some families headed to town early to find the perfect spot to watch the fireworks display on New Year's Eve, many other families attended church services to say goodbye to 2019 and usher in the new year.
At Congregational Christian Church of Samoa at Alamagoto, it is the first time a number of children have gathered in church since the declaration of the state of emergency in November last year.
The sight was widely welcomed by the elders of the Church. Children ran excitedly into church as they arrived with their parents.
Reverend Faatafa Nefu led the congregation in prayer leading up to the last five minutes of 2019. The Church was included in the scheduled power outage by Electric Power Corporation to ensure safety during the fireworks display.
A senior deacon of the church, Amuimuia Farani told Samoa Observer that welcoming the new year in prayer as a congregation is significant.
A way to commit the previous year's lessons and prepare for the next year's challenges, he said.
"It is always important to bring our journeys before God this year with all the works we have done and to prepare our spirits for the coming year," said the 54-year-old.
"Especially after the epidemic we faced this year, He does not abandon his people, and that is why we need to give thanks."
The Alamagoto church service started at 11 p.m. and finished just in time for the congregation to enjoy the fireworks from right outside its doors.
Their front row seats were secured as the fireworks display heralding the new year was launched from Mt. Vaea via Palisi.
"This is also the first time we've seen children in church as the State of Emergency had just been lifted, and there could not be a more perfect time for them to be back to Church to celebrate New Years with their families," said Amuimuia.
Other church services around Samoa started as early as 9p.m. to ensure families have time to spend together during the crossing over from 2019 to 2020.