Tonga observes 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.
|2021||1 Jan||Fri||New Year's Day|
|2022||1 Jan||Sat||New Year's Day|
Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day in Tonga form a holiday triumvirate that gives structure to the end-of-year and beginning-of-year annual celebrations.
As Tonga is mostly Christian and very religious, many will attend special church services on 31 December or 1 January or at least focus on the religious significance of the new year on the last Sunday of the year during regular services.
As around half of Tongans live abroad, mostly in the US, Australia, or New Zealand, this Christmas-to-New-Year period is a time when some may return home for the holidays. Since many families partly live on remittances from their overseas working family member, they finally get to see each other again in person instead of just mail, email, and video chats.
New Year’s Eve and Day are celebrated throughout Tonga each year, but the main centres of celebration are Tongatapu, where 70 percent of the population resides, and Nuku Alofa.