Samoan warrior performing cultural display at Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa
Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa

Samoan Culture

Talofa lava, welcome to Samoa.

Visitors to our beautiful Pacific Island paradise can expect a warm, friendly welcome. Samoa’s modest people enjoy a deeply traditional way of life according to Fa’a Samoa - the Samoan way. 

We welcome you to discover and explore the ancient customs and colourful traditions that govern everyday life on our tropical islands, from everyday rituals and values to dance, art and cuisine. Fa’a Samoa places great emphasis on providing warm hospitality. 

Visitors who are invited into a traditional village or family home can expect to experience this but should show respect by familiarising themselves with traditional customs and protocols.

Fa'a Samoa

Fa’a Samoa - the Samoan way – is a way of life that stretches back more than 3,000 years and is reflected in every aspect of Samoa’s communal society. Fa’a Samoa celebrates traditional values, culture and environment.

The three main pillars of Fa’a Samoa are the matai (chiefs), aiga (extended family), and the Christian church. In Samoan society, matai are the head of their extended family, but their place in the nu’u (village) also encompasses civic and political roles.

Dates to Remember

As a Christian society, Samoa observes all annual religious dates such as Christmas and Easter with public holidays. Many, and sometimes all, Samoan businesses will close on public holidays, so check if any dates coincide with your visit.

White Sunday

White Sunday falls on the second Sunday of October each year, and is followed by a public holiday on Monday. White Sunday, or Lotu-A-Tamaiti (children’s church day) is a celebration of children and a religious event. Everyone dresses in white and attend special church services that may include plays or dances performed by children. 

Independence Day

Samoa became independent from New Zealand on 1 June, 1962. Each year, all of Samoa celebrates this day with traditional music and dancing, food and art. Visitors are sure to encounter Independence Day festivities wherever they are staying in Samoa. 

Teuila Festival

The main event on Samoa’s cultural calendar takes place each September. Since 1991 the Teuila Festival has been a celebration of cuisine, traditional tattooing and carving, dance and music and sports. Events mainly take place at various locations around Apia, with the highlight for many being the Miss Samoa pageant. 

Other Public Holidays

New Year’s Day - 1 January

Good Friday

Holy Saturday

Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

Anzac Day - 25 April

Mother’s Day - second Sunday in May

Father’s Day - Monday after the second Sunday in August

Arbor Day - first Friday in November

Christmas Day - 25 December

Boxing Day - 26 December

Check out what events are coming up in Samoa...

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