19th December 2013
While some parts of the world are celebrating a white Christmas by making snowmen and baking hot roast dinners with all the trimmings, Christmas in Fiji is a different experience entirely. The warm and sunny weather means sand rather than snow and cold meats and seafood rather than a hot roast meal, much like Christmas in Australia. However, while people the world over enjoy celebrating Christmas with colourful decorations and fireworks, Fijians prefer family get togethers, church masses and carolling. However don't get us wrong, on Christmas Eve Fijian children still expect Santa to visit them with gifts.
About two weeks before Christmas Day, everyone gathers at the community's largest house and celebrates there until two weeks after New Year's Day. They sing and dance including performing the traditional 'Meke' fan (women) and spear (men) dance, an important part of any celebration in Fiji. Lamps and candles are used to decorate homes and colourful ribbons are used to decorate trees.
When it comes to the food, just like any other day in Fiji, everything is cooked in the 'lovo' underground hot stone 'oven' that are place just outside homes. A big feast is planned for either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and some of the more popular dishes include garlic spice chicken, beef, pork, fish, cassava and Dalo. Another special dish often served at Christmas time is Palusami, spiced mutton wrapped in leaves and cooked in coconut cream. Learn more about Fiji Culture.
The traditional drink of kava is also an important part of the celebration with villages holding community parties rather than the smaller parties held between friends and relatives in the larger towns and cities. Rather than making one themselves, Fijians traditionally buy a cake to enjoy during the festive season and picnics and beach parties are held throughout the Christmas period and into the New Year.
With such beautiful weather to enjoy over the festive season, it's no wonder Fijians like to make Christmas and New Years a month-long celebration!