A Guide to Takai in Niue
No country celebrates the New Year quite like Niue. When the horns are beeping and music is blasting from Niue’s main road around the island, you know it’s Takai.
What is Takai? After reading this quick guide to this New Year’s celebration and public holiday in one of the world’s smallest countries, you won’t be blamed for wanting to book a ticket for January!
Before we jump into the details, check out the 10 Biggest Events in Niue to see what else is happening on the island.
What is Takai?
Takai means “to go right around” and the event of Takai is just that! Historically, this is where villagers would walk around the island, going from village to village, sharing gifts to wish goodwill to celebrate the New Year.
While the tradition still goes on to this day, modern celebrations are a lot wackier – more on that in the final section. Before that, if you want to learn more about Niue at New Year’s, check out How to Spend the New Year in Niue.
The Takai Public Holiday
As well as a fun way to celebrate the New Year, Takai is also a public holiday. Takai Commission Holiday is every year on January 2, where government services and many businesses are closed. This is handy for visitors to keep in mind when planning a trip to Niue during the New Year, as guided tours and experiences are unlikely to operate on this day.
Learn more about Niue’s holidays in our guide to the Public Holidays in Niue (& Other Important Dates).
How Niue Celebrates Takai
So how is Takai celebrated today in Niue? Well, many locals dress up their car, bike or whatever vehicle they can get their hands on (it’s the only time of the year where you can legally drive an unregistered vehicle). Then, they drive around the entire island, going from village to village, distributing goodies to other villagers – mostly lollies (candy)!
Those who aren’t driving in a vehicle come out to watch the festivities (and grab some candy, of course).
Drinking (a lot) and being merry is also part of the experience for many.
Want to find out more ways to celebrate the New Year in Niue? Check out the 5 Ways to Spend the New Year in Niue.