American Samoa: Holidays, Sports
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King Day|
|3rd Monday in February||Presidents’ Day|
|17th April||Flag day|
|Last Monday in May||Remembrance day|
|July 4||USA Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Columbus Day|
|November 11||Veterans day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thangsgiving (harvest festival)|
|December 26||Family day|
Flag Day commemorates the first day the American flag flied in American Samoa; this was April 17, 1900. Flag Day is celebrated with a longboat race, the Fautasi, and a song and dance competition in Fagatogo.
In the first week of May, the tourism week is celebrated with canoe races, dancing and singing performances and the election of Miss American Samoa on Utulei Beach.
At the end of October the hunt for the coral worm, the Palolo, takes place, which is a delicacy in Samoa like caviar in our country. When the phase of the moon and the tides are right, the worms come out of their hiding place to mate. These are then received by the Samoans with nets and flashlights.
- Surfing: Surfing in Samoa is more for experienced athletes. Strong currents and sharp reefs are not to be underestimated. Most of the surfing spots are on Tutuila Island.
- Diving and Snorkeling: There are many good spots, some of which have coral walls that are 18 m or deeper.
- Hiking: Climbing Rainmaker Mountain offers a breathtaking view and an interesting natural experience.
- You can go kayaking along the coast
- Golf: The Pago Pago golf course is said to be one of the most beautiful and cheapest golf courses in the world.
American Samoa: Climate, Customs, Religions
Due to its proximity to the equator, the climate in Samoa is hot and humid all year round. The rainy season is from November to April. The dry season from May to October.
The most favorable time to travel to American Samoa in terms of climate is the dry season, around the months of May to October.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
American Samoa: national customs
Ava ceremony, kava
Fa’afafine means “like a woman”. In Samoa it is not uncommon for men to walk around dressed as women and behave like them. This is a traditional part of Samoan culture. Since Fa’afafine do both women’s and men’s work, they are very valued in their families. Sometimes men are brought up as women in families from childhood if the family has not had any girls.
Traditionally, there is still a lot of tattooing in Samoa. It is mostly men who are tattooed from waist to knees. The tattoos are mostly hidden, but they are shown on ritual occasions and dances. The women are only tattooed on their thighs.
Using shark teeth, the dye is “hammered” into the skin in a painful procedure. The process of tattooing must be done in one piece and must not be interrupted.
In the past, many tattoo artists were brought to Tonga because the local population was not allowed to touch the chiefs because of their holiness. So you needed outsiders.
Bark fiber, called tapa or siapo.
Almost all of the Pacific islands, except the Carolines and the Santa Cruz Islands, have no weaving mill.
Fabrics were and are therefore made from bark. This is first soaked and then tapped until the pieces have reached a multiple of their original size. Individual pieces are joined together by felting. This is how long fabrics are made. In Samoa and Tonga, these can reach lengths of several hundred meters. The tapas are rolled up and presented on special occasions. The motifs are painted on using stencils or matrices. Each archipelago has its own individual pattern.
Before the Europeans arrived, a god was worshiped in Samoa. He was called Tangaloa and was the sky god and father of creation. The parallels with Christianity are obvious. Certainly that was, besides political reasons, also a more important reason why the Samoans were so open to Christianity.
Today, as in the USA, Christianity occupies an immensely important position in Samoan society.
American Samoa: Sightseeing
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are currently no UNESO World Heritage Sites in American Samoa.
At the moment, however, the inclusion of a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List is being discussed:
- Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Cities in the country
Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa. The city has around 12,000 residents, making it the largest city in the country. Pago Pago is located on the island of Tutuila.
Fagatogo is located on the island of Tutuila and has about 2,000 residents. The seat of the government is in Fagatogo.
Tia Seu ancient Mound
The Tia Seu ancient Mound is the largest and oldest structure in Polynesia, it is pyramidal. The pyramid has a base of 64 m by 60 m and a height of 12 m. There are similar constructions in Tonga. It is believed that the designs were originally used for pigeon hunting, a popular sport among the chiefs. The constructions were later used for religious purposes.
The Fono is the parliament in Fagatogo and was built in 1973 in the traditional style of a fale.
Fale is the name for the traditional residential or assembly buildings in Samoa. These oval-shaped houses were traditionally built without walls near the beach to take advantage of the sea breeze for cooling. The structure of the building was built without nails, only using lashing connections, a kind of weaving technique made from coconut fibers, which are visible as multi-colored connections with traditional patterns. The roof is made of coconut leaves and the floor is made of woven panda nut mats, which are placed on either gravel or coral subsoil. During the rainy season, the walls are made of blinds or mats. The particularly highlighted Fale in the village is used for gathering purposes and is called Fale talimalo.
factory in Pago Pago In this factory the tuna caught is prepared primarily for export.
Tatage Matau site
The Tatage Matau site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the South Pacific. It is located behind the village of Leone on the island of Tutuila.
To’aga site on Ofu island
To’aga site on Ofu island, pottery from 1000 BC was found here. Found.
Saua site on Ta’u
Saua site on Ta’u is the site where the god Tagaloa is said to have created the first humans.
Jean P. Haydon Museum
The Jean P. Haydon Museum is a folklore museum in Pago Pago.
American Samoa Community College
The American Samoa Community College in Mapusaga, near Pago Pago, is the only higher education institution in the country. The college was founded in 1970. Currently, around 1,500 students study at the following institutes:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Natural sciences
- Social sciences
Sea cliffs on the island of Ta’u
The approx. 900 m into the sea reaching high sea cliffs on the island of Ta’u are among the highest of their kind in the world.
Pala Lake is located in the middle of red quicksand on the island of Aunu’u.
Rainmaker Mountain was declared a National Park of American Samoa in 1972.
Fatamafuti is a small island about 275 m offshore. Due to its location and size, the island is home to numerous exotic birds.