By Serah Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
New Year’s celebrations on Fishermans Island, outside of Port Moresby, included committing to being a better person and lots of giving.
Following tradition, the islanders welcomed 2015 with fun and games and sharing of gifts and food.
The festive spirit on the island carried into the New Year. The celebrations started at 8pm on New Year’s Eve with entertainment items provided by the different clans on the island.
This continued into a New Year church service hosted by the United Church. The church service ended with the congregation committing to leave behind bad habits. They showed their commitment by burning pieces of paper on which they wrote down those habits they were leaving behind with the old year.
As dawn broke on New Year’s Day, the clan in charge of organising the celebrations, the Kwamonuma clan, carried out the traditional New Year’s washing ritual. They splashed some people with water, while others they threw into the sea.
As dictated by custom, those being washed will bear a gift for the organisers. It can come in the form of new clothing items which they will wear at the time of the washing.
Members of the Kwamonuma clan were very happy with how the day turned out. Clan member Augerea Kulu said it was a huge challenge to the clan to host 2014’s festive period celebrations, but the New Year’s Day activities and the overall day has exceeded their expectations.
The day was full of activities that included sea races and other sports. The main event was the sharing of food and gifts. The organising clan gave each of the other four clans on the island, tents full of household items and uncooked food to share amongst themselves.
Visitors on the day were impressed with the celebrations.
A Hanuabada resident said he was glad he brought his family to Fishermans for celebrations this year.
The islanders and their visitors closed the first day of 2015 with a huge feast.