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Celebrating Easter in Fiji

By Shane Hussein Posted 17 Apr 2014

Fiji is well known for its many unique cultural festivals and the Christian tradition of Easter is no different. Indeed, with over 60 per cent of the Fijian population belonging to a Christian denomination, Easter is a vibrant and magical time to book a flight to Fiji.

History of Easter in Fiji

In Fiji, Easter is a celebrated national holiday with Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday all marked as Public Holidays. For many Fijians, this holiday period is a time to catch up with family, friends while many villages come together over the long weekend to celebrate the religious tradition together.
Locally, a Mass is conducted on Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday. The locals will wear their best dress and attend the religious ceremony at the local church. If you happen to be in a Fijian village at this time, be sure to stick around after Mass as often villages will put on a communal banquet and perform songs and dances.

The Fijian Crosswalk

One of the major events leading up to Easter is the traditional ‘Fijian Crosswalk’. Part of Holy Week in Fiji, the event begins in Suva and ends seven days later in Nadi. The Crosswalk commemorates the last journey Christ took to Jerusalem and as a symbol of this journey a large wooden cross is carried by chosen village members for 200 kilometres along Queens Road, right across the southern base of Viti Levu.

Source: traveltart.com

It is a spectacular sight that draws large crowds every year. Indeed, many Fijians will accompany the cross bearers even if they are not carrying the Cross. The walk is treated with absolute reverence not only by its participants, but by all Christian Fijians living on the island.

The Crosswalk was traditionally completed by Catholic Fijians, however 2014 marks the first year that Methodists Fijians have been invited to join the Crosswalk.

"This is the first time for the two Christian denominations get to come together and partake in the Crosswalk, something that never used to happen before,” Vio Drou, a Crosswalk committee member told the Fiji Times. “The walk is not only meant for the Catholics but also for other people who believe in the crucifixion and resurrection day of our Lord Jesus.”

Did you know: The Easter Crosswalk is taken so seriously in many parts of Fiji that it has actually claimed lives. Most recently in 2007, a pilgrim died while taking part and in 2008, one of the pilgrims was whipped at the conclusion of the walk similarly to how Christ was flayed.  That said, while high winds and rain also often threaten to cancel the event, the passion of the Fijians never fails to deter them from performing the famous ritual.

Easter Activities For Children

Whilst the Crosswalk is one of the more traditional activities happening in Fiji this Easter, many of Fiji’s premier hotels and resorts hold their own Easter celebrations for their guests. As an example, the Outrigger on the Lagoon has a number of child-friendly Easter activities including a baby chicken nursery, an Easter egg hunt and even a poolside Easter Hat Parade. For the adults, a live band will be playing beside the pool and a Church service will be held on Easter Sunday Morning.

Source: Outrigger On The Lagoon

Castaway Island is another resort that celebrates Easter with a full program of activities. Easter Monday is dedicated to an ‘Amazing Race’ style competition with the race lasting all day until 9pm. The resort is also hosting an Easter-themed art and crafts event as well as an Easter egg hunt and a dawn Church service.

Most hotels and resorts celebrate Easter in Fiji and regardless of where you stay; chances are you will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse into one of Fiji’s most important religious events. Indeed, such a chance to get involved doesn’t come around often, and if you are keen to spend Easter in a tropical paradise, book a cheap flight to Fiji now with Fiji Airways.

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