Niue 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.
In Niue, 1 January is a national public holiday. Both New Year’s Even and Day are widely celebrated, but they are really just a part of a greater celebration.
On New Year’s Day, called Takai, a new year begins with a week-long prayer vigil. You will see many in church or they will pray at home. Takai week comes right on the heels of the Christmas season and the traditional Niue Christmas feast of coconut-marinated fish. The feasting resumes as the new year approaches!
Another key element of a Niue new year is that many locals travel around the whole island. They drive about in decorated vehicles to be seen, to greet others, and to enjoy “their island”. Also, every day of the first week of the year has one or more special events. There are sports events, dances, church services, and “candy tosses” where drivers throw sweets to kids who wait eagerly at the roadside.
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