Holiday time in Nauru - Community Post

The island nation of Nauru is nestled in the centre of coral cliffs surrounded by rock phosphates—striking peaks that emerge from the clear water. With this backdrop, Christmas celebrations vibrantly decorate and complement the beautiful landscape.

In December, you will see brightly coloured lights dotted around the island, illuminating households and hanging among the pandanus and coconut trees. Most Nauruans follow Christianity and attend church services to mark the special significance of this time. Being a small place (around 13,000 residents), the island operates with a lot of community spirit, sharing responsibility for cooking, visiting elderly residents, and caring for children.

It is common for families to wear brightly coloured (sparkling or floral, sometimes matching!) outfits in red, green and white Christmas themes and adorn headdresses with flowers like frangipani. Celebrations are hosted in venues decorated with tinsel, lights, colourful fabrics, palms and plants, where groups perform in the spirit of entertainment or for a friendly competition.

Songs like Joy to the World, Silent Night, and Glad Tidings are usually heard throughout the air when you drive around the island, as Christmas carols are very popular in Nauru. Christmas is one of the seasons that the older relatives are visited with songs and gifts, usually organised by various church communities, these includes youth and young children at the forefront singing.

Christmas feasts might include roasted whole pork, BBQ black noddy bird, and coconut fish (sashimi mixed with coconut cream and lime juice), a specialty dish as coconut grows well in the tropical climate, and the fishing industry is a core part of Nauru. Families each take some cooking responsibility, serving and sharing delicious foods.

We are fortunate that one of our team members, Jennifer Harris, shared some images for this post of Nauru’s celebrations. "You can feel the happiness in the air," she says, "driving around the island is a real treat on Christmas, and I get so much joy from the children loving this time of year.

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