Christmas in Wallis and Futuna is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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The overseas collectivity of the Wallis and Futuna Islands shares many of the customs and holidays it imported from France, of which it is a territory. The large majority of the population, however, is ethnically Polynesian, and this affects the way that the people celebrate Christmas.
Many families still live in traditional oval, thatch-roofed homes, which are well decorated for the season. They may put out decorative, locally made “tapa” cloths, for example. And many choose to consume locally brewed “kava” during the holidays.
As 99 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, it is common to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve or mass on Christmas Day. During Christmas break, the beaches are packed, and some get the full stretch from December Solstice on 21 December to 25 December off from work.
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