30 Jul 2008

King of Tonga installed in sacred kava ceremony

10:53 am on 30 July 2008

The King of Tonga will attend a unique kava ceremony in the capital Nuku'alofa this morning.

The week long coronation of King George Tupou the Fifth is due to end on Friday.

Richard Pamatatau is in Tonga

"A huge crowd is expected to watch the ceremony, especially as people are openly talking about the King surrendering his political power, in a push to constitutional change. They will see gifts presented as the King arrives at the kava circle accompanied by a Fijian relation. At that point the ceremony proper begins and the kava can be mixed, accompanied by more chanting and gifts. It is expected to take two hours and is regarded by many as the most sacred ceremony in the week long coronation."