23 Mar 2012

Nobles to carry out pongipongi tapu for new Tongan King

8:48 am on 23 March 2012

In Tonga, every noble in the country has been told to come to the Royal Palace with their estate for King George Tupou the fifth's funeral, rather than coming in clans.

The late King's burial was scheduled for next Wednesday but will now be held a day earlier at the request of the new King Tupou the Sixth.

The chairmain of the committee overseeing the King's funeral, Lord Vaea, has met with some of the 33 Nobles earlier in the week to discuss the duties they'll carry out.

Radio Tonga reports Lord Vaea says different clans have different roles, and nobles have their individual roles.

He says the nobles would like to provide food for visitors to the Royal Palace, and two clans, the Ha'a Tufunga and Fale Ha'akili, will stay at the Palace for 100 days.

After the funeral and burial, one of the Nobles main duties for the new King will be carrying out his first traditional kava ceremony, known as the pongipongi tapu, or the first morning for the new King.

This will be held next Saturday.