TONGA’S OUTLYING VAVA’U CELEBRATES CORONATION

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TONGA’S OUTLYING VAVA‘U CELEBRATES CORONATION King George Tupou V continues country tour

NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 20, 2008) - The Port of Refuge in Neiafu glowed with activities and a Tupakapakanava torch lighting ceremony as the Vava΄u people celebrated the coronation of King George Tupou V with enthusiasm and joy on Monday.

[PIR editor’s note: Neiafu is the administrative center of Tonga’s Vava’u island group, located to the northwest of Tongatapu.]

The two-day program was very similar to coronation celebration programs that have been held in Tongatapu, Ha΄apai, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo΄ou.

On Monday, August 18 there was a Taumafa Kava at the Fangatongo playground, followed by a reception at the Puataukanave Hotel and a Tupakapakanava in the evening.

The harbor was lit up by the Tupakapakanava, as local people burned torches made from coconut sheaths tied together. The Tonga Defence Services band in a barge provided music for the reception at the Puataukanave. The Vava΄u saying "kuo huni e lol," that the sea at the harbor was so calm and smooth like oil, was so true.

On Tuesday August 19 there was a Military Parade at the Fangatongo playground in the morning. A luncheon feast at the Vava΄u High School grounds was followed by traditional dancing to conclude the official coronation celebration program for Vava΄u.

Unofficially, the king was going on a picnic on the island of Nuku, and the people from the outer islands of Vava΄u were to continue the celebration on Nuku.

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