White Sunday 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

White Sunday is a Christian holiday and it is the national holiday in country of Samoa and it is celebrated annually on every 2nd Sunday of October

White Sunday is a Christian holiday and it is declared as the national holiday in the country of Samoa where it is primarily celebrated. It is also celebrated in American Samoa. 

This day is annually celebrated on every second Sunday in the month of October which means that it falls on 9th October this year. Pastor Appreciation Day is also celebrated on this day in the United States. 

White Sunday, also known in Samoan as ‘Lotu Tamaiti,’ or ‘Children’s Service,’ is a notable day in the calendar of Samoan children. On this day, families and communities commemorate childhood by honoring the children in their midst. 

Event White Sunday
Date October 9, 2022
Day Sunday
Significance The day marks and celebrates a Christian holiday
Observed by Samoa


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White Sunday History: 

Although there are various theories regarding the origins of White Sunday, it is widely assumed that it was popularized by Christian missionaries who landed in Samoa in the 19th century. However, the first White Sunday was marked in June 1898, when the London Missionary Society agreed to establish a special Sunday for children during its annual conference in June during that year.

While some believe White Sunday to be a Christian adaptation of an indigenous pre-contact celebration of certain planting and harvesting seasons. Others assert that the holiday coincides with a family celebration that became widespread in the 1920s in commemoration of Samoans who succumbed to the influenza epidemic of 1919 which took the lives of a fifth to a quarter of the Samoan population, many of victims in this epidemic were children. 

During the International Sunday School Conference held in Rome in February 1909, it was resolved to make the third Sunday of October the International Children's Sunday, and so the Samoan White Sunday was changed from June to the third Sunday of October. Later on, this day was changed to the second Sunday of October to coincide with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which were on the second Sundays of May and August, respectively. 

The centenary of White Sunday was celebrated in 1998 not only by Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) churches in Samoa but also in CCCS churches in USA, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and American Samoa so this holiday became a worldwide celebration through this. Today White Sunday is observed and celebrated by all Christian Churches in Samoa.

White Sunday Significance: 

White Sunday is s very important festival in the country of Samoa and that's why it has given the status of national holiday in the country during which the public holiday is given on the following day of Monday to workers and students. Samoa as a country is highly Christian as about 98% of the population adheres to Christianity so it also gives an opportunity to Samoans to celebrate christianity along with their special and unique culture. 

The day is celebrated for parents and communities to acknowledge and celebrate their children and their childhood by hosting special programs during church services which include scriptural recitations, biblical story reenactments, and creative dance performances by their children. It is a special day meant for giving extra love and care to children by the parents. 

So this day is kind of a Children Day during which children enjoys some special privilege and they are treated with very high regard and affection. They are also offered gifts and special respect like by serving them meal before anyone in the family. So this day gives an opportunity to all of the parents to celebrate their kids and fulfill all of their demands atleast for a day. 

Many well-known Samoan entertainers and performers now attribute their ability to speak and act in public to their White Sunday experiences as children or in their youth. Years of hard learning and practice inadvertently contribute to the development of the children into very skilled orators when they grow up.


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White Sunday Celebrations: 

On White Sunday, Samoan women and children dress completely in white clothing. Some of them trim the clothes with the other two colours of the Samoan flag, red and blue. Men will wear white shirts with either white slacks or the traditional faitaga form of the lavalava. If lavalava is worn then it need not be white on this day. 

On White Sunday, churches in Samoa and neighboring nations host special programs in which youngsters perform various creative performances. Samoan children are also allowed to demonstrate their talents in a variety of ways such as songs, dance skills, and even skits. Many children are also baptized on this day in various congregations across Samoa. 

Children enjoy being treated special and White Sunday gives the perfect opportunity for it. This is a day which can be used to spoil any young person in your life. Children in Samoa frequently get to eat their favorite food and receive gifts from family members and older friends on White Sunday. Overall it is a moment of happiness for everyone especially for the children. 

Most Searched FAQs on White Sunday: 

1. When is White Sunday celebrated? 

White Sunday is annually celebrated on every second Sunday of October in Samoa. 

2. Why is it called White Sunday? 

While 'Pentecost' is more widely used in the UK, traditionally the church has referred to the celebration as 'Whitsun', or 'Whit Sunday'. It is believed that the name comes from Pentecost being a day for baptisms, when participants would dress in white. 

3. What is Lotu Tamaiti in Samoa? 

Lotu-a-Tamaiti is a national holiday celebrated on the Monday after the second Sunday of October and this year, it falls on October 10. It honors children and has been observed by the Samoan Islanders since the 19th century. 

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