As the blue and red flag begins to rise to the top of the flag post, something odd yet familiar happens.
The sky - baby blue and cloudless - suddenly turns cloudy and casts a long shadow over Mulinu'u, near Apia, where thousands of people are gathered to remember 50 years since Samoa gained independence.
People begin whispering: "This is what happened on the first Independence Day."
It's a good sign, they say - a sign that our forefathers are watching.
Thousands of people, both young and old, descend upon Mulinu'u, near Apia, to watch the celebrations, which include the annual independence march, village cultural performances and the much anticipated flag-raising ceremony.
People are up as early as 1am, while others do not sleep. The streets of Apia are buzzing with crowds of people walking towards Mulinu'u, while cars and buses cheerfully toot their horns at any given opportunity.
Groups of children can be seen in their school uniforms while adults wear their Sunday best or are dressed to the nines Samoan style - in tapa cloth, feathery belts and glittering head-pieces - while others don blue wigs or flax hats.
Scores of colourful banners and national blue and red flags of every size can be seen for miles. The New Zealand flag can also be spotted among a number of groups, including representatives from the New Zealand Police force.
As the proceedings begin and the flag-raising ceremony is set to take place, Samoa's Chief of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, addresses the thousands.
He speaks about the country's past and the struggles - politically and emotionally - it has faced, including the tragedies of earthquakes, hurricanes, and more recently, the tsunami that killed almost 200 people when it struck off the southern coast of Upolu island in 2009.
"We have been blessed with good leadership ... and we acknowledge that leadership," he says.
"Samoa is not a Government, Samoa is a family."
The annual march is one of the longest to take place at an Independence Day event. With a total of 159 groups participating, it takes close to five hours to finish.
Among those taking part in this year's march is the Lauaki family, many of whom travelled from New Zealand to take part and to represent their ancestor - Lauaki Mamoe Namulauulu Tivoli - who is a renowned "warrior" of Samoa.
Aucklander Tauiliili Suilolo Tivoli says it is a privilege to represent their relative.
"It's an honour to be here," she says. "Our family has come from all around New Zealand, Australia and Samoa to be here today and we are privileged to be here. If only [Lauaki] could see us now."
Makesi Ne'emia, of West Auckland, travelled to Samoa with his parents and sister for family commitments as well as the independence celebrations.
It is his first time in Samoa during an Independence Day event and he says knowing it is the 50th anniversary makes it even more special.
"I couldn't miss this one - no way."
Mr Ne'emia says seeing the celebrations and particularly the raising of the flag in person is a privilege.
"It makes me feel proud to be Samoan ... I shed a tear when that flag went up," he says.
The celebrations continue at Apia Park late into the night, as thousands turn out to see international reggae band UB40 perform.
Concerts, festivities and special activities and sports events will continue next week as part of the 50th Independence Day celebrations.
Where to celebrate in New Zealand
Mt Albert Library
Storytime - Tasi, lua, tolu, fa. Come and celebrate Samoan Language Week with stories, songs and rhymes.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Pasifika Pioneers Awards Ball.
Contact: Rev Obed UNasa, ph: (09) 845-6604.
Weaving and sennit demonstrations.
June 7 and 8, 11am-12.30pm and 1.30-3pm.
Papakura Samoan Youth Choir
June 9, 11.30am, 1.30pm.
Mangere Arts Centre
Samoan Heritage Artists' Day with Paul Junior Sulu'ape, Auomala Folasa-Solo and Savelina Afa'ese, Suimatua Kiripele Umu Alaia, Felise Ioane, and Galumalemana Steven Percival.
June 9, 10am -4pm.
Fiafia Island Night.
Samoan Northland Community Inc members will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Samoa's independence.
Tonight, Forum North, 7pm.
Ceremonial flag march from Knox St followed by a service in Garden Place, Ava welcoming ceremony, cultural performances, food stalls, arts and crafts.