Wallis and Futuna 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.
Welcoming the new year is a big event in Wallis and Futuna. Around three-quarters of the population are subsistence farmers, and this has a big effect on the new year’s meal menu. Yams, taro root, bananas, fish, and rice are to be expected. Pork, turtle-meat, or chicken are also festive dishes. Tea is always drunk, but spirits of some sort are common on festive occasions.
Celebrations are very much family-centred, but there are community and public events as well. You can find fireworks shows, and you will find special programming on TV and radio to do with the coming of the new year.
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