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New Year's Eve at Fiji

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 8 November 2011 | Views [7863]

Fiji is an island country with a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the South Pacific Ocean region. New Year’s Day is celebrated in Fiji immediately after Christmas as in many other countries. However, in Fiji, the celebration for New Year’s Day is not just one day. In parts of Fiji, New Year’s Day is celebrated for a week or even longer.

As Fiji is a combination of many cultures, ethnic groups and traditions, the New Year’s Day celebration is both time-honoured and modern. An understanding of Fiji’s legacy and customs, explains how these are incorporated into the festivities of Fiji’s New Year.

Dancing is an exciting way to enter into New Year’s Day on Fiji. One of the most well liked native dances is the Meke, which integrates the seasea or a woman’s fan dance or the meke wesi, which is the men’s spear dance. The dances portray the stories of wars and other important events. The mekes have been danced for generations and are a significant segment of the unwritten history of Fiji. The more modern style of meke celebrates contemporary events.

fiji dance

Fiji’s celebration of New Year’s includes dinner and wine. Kava, called Yaqona in Fiji, is the national drink.

Fijians celebrate New Year’s by being seated on carpeting on the floor and eating the New Year’s feast by their hands. Food in Fiji is a fascinating intermingling of Indian, South East Asian, and Pacific tastes.

The people of Fiji dress traditionally for the New Year’s celebration. The traditional national dress is the Sulu that is similar to a skirt. Both men and women wear the Sulu, which are intricately decorated. In the urban areas, men have Sulu adapted as part of their suits. With this the men dresses in a shirt with a collar, tie and jacket with the Sulu to match, finished off with sandals. This suit is also used by the military as part of the uniform. Women wear a Tapa sheath dress.

The music of Fiji is Polynesian in its nature, even though Fiji is part of Melanesia. Nevertheless, Fiji is also identified with Fijian reggae. Fijian folk music is focused on church vocals. The dancing is melodious and slit drums and drums of other natural materials produce the percussion. When New Year’s Day arrives in Fiji, the contemporary Fijians play the mandolin, guitar, and ukulele plus the age-old lali drums. As in most cultures, Fijians take time to make New Year’s resolutions.

fiji traditional dance

New Year’s celebrations keep on for weeks or longer in some parts of Fiji. It is a frequent tradition in Fiji to beat on the drums and spray each other with water. In the centre of Suva, which is Fiji’s capital, the people set off fireworks and hold a yearly street party to greet the New Year. This is one of the principal New Year’s parties in all of the South Pacific.

Fiji is easily accessible by air and water. The flight landing destinations are Nadi International Airport, Fiji’s main airport and the Suva Airport. Travelers are able to get direct flights from Los Angeles and from Hong Kong. Visitors can fly to Fiji from capital cities of Australia and New Zealand.

Many travel agents in Fiji require a deposit along with the reservation. This payment is made in advances, so it is highly recommended to book your accommodation before travel or get a Fiji vacation package.

Tags: accommodation, christmas, fiji, fiji dance, meke, new year, seasea

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