Cultural Holidays in Tonga


Traditional Tongan culture is thriving in today's modern society which has a lot to do with being a Kingdom and respecting not only royalty and its elders, but also of its ancestral culture. Outwardly, the most obvious signs of these traditions is the wearing of the ta'ovala, a hand woven mat worn around the waist like a dress. Every matt style has a significance, whether worn for sensibility, casually, in mourning or for celebration.

Another strong tradition widely practised is Tongan dance, and these are often performed for tourists along with a traditional feast where th3e food is cooked in an underground oven and kava drinking, a mildly narcotic ceremonial drink with not such a desirable taste to it. These island feats and dance shows are sometimes held at the Tongan Cultural Centre in Nuku'alofa, at Likualofa Resort and Oholei Beach on Tongatapu and at Ene'io Restaurant in Vava'u.

For tourists visiting Tonga, the best way to experience Tongan culture is by visiting a Tongan village where you will likely see women weaving mats or making tapa cloth, men fishing in canoes or tending their food plantations, and children feeding the pigs and chickens or playing rugby. If you want to purchase handcarfts, head to the Langafonua Handicraft Centre in downtown, or to the produce market where you can find carvings, baskets, fans and tapa cloth for sale.