Calendar Of Events
All US holidays are observed in American Samoa with the addition of the ones mentioned below.
The Flag Day
The Flag Day commemorates the raising of the American flag and the start of the US territory of American Samoa since 1900. It may seem a little odd for a people to celebrate a domination by another power, but many American Samoans see this 100-year relationship as something more special than the mistaken view of American imperialism, and the even worst and prejudicial view of an indigent Samoa. Most people only focus on the money from the Federal Government that has provided a lot of help to the citizens of American Samoa, as well as other Pacific islanders that migrated to American Samoa.
But this quasi relationship has other dimensions that could in the end be more beneficial to Samoans than federal appropriations. For example, an outcome of this association is the advancement of the American form of democracy and the strive for freedom. This outpost of America in the South Pacific, if this relationship continues, could be an embryo of a new political paradigm involving the fa'aSamoa and individuality. This is my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe that American Samoa could be a testing ground for any such efforts to reconcile these two seemingly divergent views pertaining to individual freedom.
The surrounding island countries do not have the same burden and the nudging of the US Constitution in which American Samoa in various degrees is susceptible to. For example, in (western) Samoa, there is a national law that prevents people from having religious meetings without the approval of the predominant church in each community. This is probably an attempt to preserve village peace, but such a law would be unthinkable in American Samoa.
During the Flag Day celebration, there are organized parades, sporting events including the fautasi (long boat) race, traditional Samoan entertainment such as the sa'sa, siva and the fa'aluma. The majority of these activities are open to the public.
||US Independence Day
Aso O Tamaiti (White Sunday)
The first Sunday of October is celebrated throughout Samoa to honor their children. The children of Samoa are loved, but they are usually living on the sidelines when it comes to the everyday affairs of village life. But in Samoa on this day of 'Aso O Tamaiti', a role reversal takes place where the children take center stage in families and villages throughout Samoa. The day usually starts out with children lining up and parading into churches, where special programs of songs and special biblical skits are culminated with Sunday feasts in the homes where the children are served first with the best choice before the adults sits down to eat. Visitors are allowed to attend this kinds of services.
Gathering of the Palolo
This Samoan delicacy surfaces once a year from the bottom of the sea. Hey, if folks are brave enough to eat raw fish eggs, surely they can try this. It's hard for me to explain this so you'll just have to see it for yourself.
American Samoa National Park, Ofu Island (photo: National Park Services)
The National Parks Project
Since September, 2002, artist Scott W. Parker has been crisscrossing the country by specially-outfitted Jeep, on foot, by kayak, by ferry and bush plane with a singular, visionary goal: to document the National Park Service's 56 diverse National Parks, spanning from the Arctic Circle to the Everglades, through painting, pastel drawing, photography and writing. His pictures include the National Park in American Samoa.