This photograph was taken on the island of Manono in Western Samoa in 1975, during my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer (1974-1977) in that country. My host family lived on Manono and I would try to visit them whenever I was able to get away, and always tried to be there for special occasions and holidays. White Sunday is a very special holiday in Samoa and is the only time during the year that the children get to eat first. Traditionally, the chiefs are fed first and whatever food is left over, is passed down to the children. On this one day, the children are seated around the fale and served first. The day is truly wonderful.
Here is a background description of White Sunday from the web:
White Sunday is a holiday in Samoa, falling on the second Sunday in October. It is a day for parents and communities to acknowledge and celebrate childhood by hosting special programs during church services which include scriptural recitations ("tauloto"), Biblical story reenactments, and creative dance performances. Children receive gifts (often new clothing and/or school supplies) on White Sunday and are allowed privileges normally reserved for elders, such as being the first to be served food at family meal time.
On White Sunday the woman and children dress completely in white clothing. Some of them trim the clothes with the other two colors of the Samoan flag, red and blue. Men will wear white shirts with either white slacks or the traditional 'ie faitaga form of the lavalava. If a lavalava is worn it need not be white.White Sunday is Also celebrated in Tonga.
White Sunday is celebrated by Samoan congregations and families throughout ethnic Samoan expatriate communities.
In the Samoan language the holiday is called "Lotu Tamaiti" literally "Children's Service" or "Prayer for Children."