French Polynesia celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
Pre-eminently, new year’s events and traditions in French Polynesia are family-focused. The whole extended family is likely to get together. People will see friends and relatives whom they may not have seen for a year or more. Family feasts and parties are the norm, and even the kids are likely to be allowed to stay up until midnight.
Food is central at French Polynesian new year’s get-togethers. You will see a mix of local Polynesian cuisine and French culinary traditions. There will usually be a buffet, and everyone is supposed to toast in the new year with a glass of champagne just after the stroke of midnight.
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