CHRISTMAS came early for staff of the Live and Learn Environmental Educational department in Suva after they took out the $400 first place prize in this weeks Bula Friday competition.
The winners were chosen from a number of entries that included the Bank of Baroda, Ra High School and Transparency international.
The University of the South Pacific's Biology staff won the second place award.
Senior staff of the Fiji Times who judged the competition said they picked the Live and Learn entry for its originality.
"This week was particularly hard to judge because all the entries had beautiful bright Bula wear," the judges said.
"But the winner, Live & Learn Environmental Education, stood out with their creative pose and Bula smiles. It was simple yet original and stood out from the rest."
"The USP Biology Staff came in at a close second," they said.
Kelerayani Gavidi of Live and Learn said they decided to enter the competition because of the significance that the "Bula Spirit" held for them with regards to their work.
"Working with grassroots communities has given us the opportunity to enjoy this 'Bula spirit' from the very people who welcome us into their homes, to those that we welcome into our office!" Ms Gavidi said.
"It resonates from the communities in amazing ways! We participated because we wanted to show the nation that this 'Bula spirit' of hospitality, fun and unity unites us all as people of this nation."
"The 'Bula spirit' is about crossing the challenges, it's about hospitality, peace, colorful vibrancy, faith, hope, love and above all, a common sense of identity."
"We think that the promotion is a good initiative for encouraging team spirit and work, for making us more appreciative of our beautiful flora and fauna and also for showcasing Fijian wit and creativity at its best,' she added.
The first place prize for the Bula Driday Competition will increase to $500.