Niue New Year: What is Takai in Niue?© Niue Tourism
Niue New Year: What is Takai in Niue?

What is Takai in Niue? (How Niueans Celebrate New Year)

© Niue Tourism

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.

When is Takai?

The Takai public holiday in Niue is on January 2.

The Takai event is during the second Friday and Saturday of the New Year. See the Niue Tourism events page for dates for the upcoming year.

What is Takai in Niue?© Niue Tourism

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 then, if you want to learn more about Niue at New Year’s, check out How to Spend the New Year in Niue.

Niue New Year: What is Takai in Niue?© Niue Tourism

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, when 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).

Niue New Year: What is Takai in Niue?© Zhuhai - Niue Tourism

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 when 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.

More About Takai and Other Events in Niue

That’s it for our guide to Takai and New Year’s in Niue. For more celebrations in Niue, take a look at the following:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Top Events & Festivals in Niue.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Niue Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Niue. She knows the island inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Niue’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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