Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Tonga Holidays and Festivals

Tonga celebrates its long history and
heritage, and its position as an island
nation, through various festivals
throughout the year. Some are
localized, such as the Vava'u festival
and regatta, while others are celebrated
nationally, such as the annual Heilala
festival. Most Tonga holidays and
festivals take place during the dry
season, and each presents a unique
experience.

'Eua Tourism Festival

Held on the island of 'Eua, this is one of
the first festivals of the annual calendar.
It is held in the second week of May and
attracts visitors from around the globe
to experience and learn about traditional
Tongan culture.

Ha'apai Tourism Festival

Held in the second week of June every
year, this festival showcases the
islands' finest culinary and cultural
delights. It is designed to attract
tourists, and plenty come to experience
the relaxed atmosphere and to enjoy
and learn about traditional Tongan
cooking and culture.

Heilala

The largest festival in Tonga is
celebrated nationally. On July 4,
Tongans celebrate the birthday of their
king, which is then followed by a week-
long festival. Almost like clockwork, this
time of year coincides with the flowering
of the heilala, which is Tonga's national
flower. The locals are proud of this
beautiful tropical flower that unfolds a
pink, cross-like shape, and as part of
the festival, they adorn themselves in
heilala necklaces.

Vava'u Festival & Regatta

This week-long festival is held in the
last week of September every year.
Different activities are scheduled each
day, including boat races around the
island, although possibly the best day is
a culmination of the week's events at
the traditional Tongan Cultural Feast at
Ano Beach, which turns into an all-night
party.

*culled from www.iexplore.com

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