30 Mar 2012

New King of Tonga to be installed in ancient kava ritual

7:09 am on 30 March 2012

King Tupou the Sixth of Tonga will receive his traditional installation as monarch at a special kava ceremony tomorrow.

About 200 nobles and their speaking chiefs are expected to take part in the outdoor ritual circle beside the Palace in Nuku'alofa.

The ceremony is run by the speaking chiefs and one of them, Viliami Polovili, says it farewells the late King and heralds the new one.

He says when the new King accepts the first cup of kava, he pledges to do his utmost to serve the country.

The ancient ritual will also end the 10 official days of mourning for the late King George Tupou the Fifth.