Ta'u Fo'ou

Ta'u Fo'ou

January 1
New Year's Day in Tonga, a Polynesian island kingdom in the South Pacific, is reminiscent of Christmas Eve celebrations in the United States and western Europe, when carolers go from house to house singing Christmas songs. But because the new year arrives in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere's summer, when schoolchildren are on holiday and the weather is warm, the caroling custom has a cultural twist. Boys and girls go from house to house singing hymns, rounds, and other songs that they have created specifically for the occasion. Instead of offering them hot chocolate or coffee, their friends and neighbors show their appreciation by offering fruit or cool drinks. Sometimes the children will be given a piece of tapa, Polynesian bark cloth.
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 7