2 Jul 2019

Tonga kicks off king's birthday with lecture

12:11 pm on 2 July 2019

Tonga has marked the beginning of a week-long 60th birthday celebration for King Tupou VI with a lecture on the "making of a nation".

Tonga's King Tupou VI

Tonga's King Tupou VI Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Indira Stewart

On Monday night the former principal of Tongan High and academic Reverend Dr Geoffrey Cummins presented the lecture.

The remainder of the week will feature marches, traditional dance and music competitions, games and sporting activities, as well as prayer meetings and choir singing.

The popular Heilala beauty pageant, featuring 25 contestants, the most in its history is also taking place during the week.

The Heilala Festival that accompanies the King's birthday each year is one of the iconic features in the Tongan calendar year.