Church bells greet dawn of White Sunday in territory
Children throughout American Samoa today (Sunday, Oct. 13) are parading into their churches in white outfits, performing religious skits and and giving readings from the bible before being treated to a lavish feast for White Sunday.
Church bells rang out across the territory early today to signal the start of this special day for children celebrated on the second Sunday of October. Children in formation stood prepared for marching into churches while singing religious songs to applause and smiles from parents, family and friends.
For most of American Samoa, today provides residents with an opportunity to create a festive day for children, all dressed in white, to present the scripture readings, sermon, prayers, plays, music and memory verses during their respective church services.
For several weeks now they have practiced their skits, memory versus and songs for presentation to the full audience at the morning services. This afternoon, they and adults will participate in plays adapted from bible stories.
White Sunday is Children’s Day throughout the Samoan islands and many other of the South Pacific island nations. It's also celebrated in the Samoan and Tongan communities in the U.S.
White Sunday gets its name from the all white attire of the children, from clothing to accessories and the flowers in their hair and around their necks. And with the new era comes the 'greening' of the celebration with money leis made with either one-dollar or five dollar bills for children to keep.
Introduced in the islands by Christian missionaries in the 1800s, White Sunday has became a special holiday, with children being treated to the best - from White Sunday outfits to food served during family feasts, which locals say surpass those feasts served for Christmas.
Businesses in the territory looks forward to White Sunday shopping to boost sales. Besides Christmas, White Sunday is the second busiest holiday shopping in American Samoa and neighboring Samoa.
However, there is also the sadness in some families as parents are unable to buy new white outfits for their children, due to the lack of employment or just not having enough money.
See Friday’s edition which includes a White Sunday message from the governor.
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