Annual Events in Samoa
Samoa's annual events and festivals attract thousands of visitors to the treasured islands each year.
Annual cultural festivals such as the Teuila Festival showcase Samoa's vibrant culture, whereas sporting tournaments and swim series events bring people from all over the world to enjoy Samoa's hospitality and pristine waters.
White Sunday is a celebration of childhood that iincludes special events such as drama, recitations and dance performances. On this much celebrated day in Samoa, children are allowed privileges including being served first during meal time. Everyone – including the adults – dresses in white, and on the day everyone including visitors to Samoa are welcome to join a church service (generally held between 8–10am). Please note, the Monday after White Sunday is the observed public holiday.
The Palolo Rise is a mysterious thing, with no exact date, but if you are in Samoa for this event, count yourself very lucky! Every year in October or November, a week after the full moon, the palolo sea worm that lives in coral rises to the sea’s surface for one or two nights. Many Samoans eagerly await this night and scoop up large amounts of this ‘Pacific caviar’ along the shoreline with hand nets. The worm is an important delicacy – sometimes eaten straight from the sea, and sometimes fried, similar to whitebait.
The Samoa International Game Fishing Association (SIGFA) hosts a big annual international fishing tournament from the end of April to the begiining of May.
Samoa Independence Celebrations are held on 1 June annually. In 1962, Samoa became the first South Pacific island to gain independence. The celebrations and festivities include singing and dance performances.
Every year, swimmers from across the globe gather to enjoy the waters of Samoa in a slighly competitive manner at the Samoa Swim Series. The series is a fantastic opportunity to swim in warm turquoise water at different locations around Samoa. Choose long (4km) or short (2km) swims.
Since it was established in 1991, Samoa's Teuila Festival (held in late August and early September) has grown to become one of Samoa's most celebrated annual events, and one of the South Pacific's biggest cultural festivals. The exciting variety ensures there is something for everyone with activities including a choral exhibition, the Samoan Police brass band, traditional Siva Samoa and contemporary dance competitions, Chief's Fiafia Polynesian spectacular, Ailao Afi/Fire Knife dancing, as well as umu (Samoan ground oven), tattooing and carving demonstrations. Within the festival, the Miss Samoa Pageant is televised nationwide and is dedicated to supporting opportunities for young Samoan women. The entrants are expected to emerge as role models for the younger generation; to represent a variety of professions, attitudes, skills and interests and also to be spokeswomen of the Samoan culture.
- See the Samoa Events Calendar for up-to-date information on the events that are on during your stay in Samoa.