Tonga celebrates its heritage, with numerous festivals throughout the year.
While some festivals are local, including the Vava’u Festival and Regatta, others are celebrated nationally, such as the annual Heilala Festival.
Many Tonga festivals and holidays take place during the dry season, and each offers visitors a unique experience, includingthe following…
Held in the second week of May on the island of ‘Eua, the ‘Eua Tourism Festivals attracts visitors from around the world to experience and learn about traditional Tongan culture.
Held in the second week of June every year, this festival showcases Ha’apai islands’ top culinary and cultural delights. This festival offers the opportunity to learn about traditional Tongan cooking and culture in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
This annual event – the largest festival in Tonga – is celebrated nationally and named after the national tropical flower, the heilala, which coincidentally blooms around this time.
Enjoy parades, parties, concerts, sporting events and beauty pageants, including the Miss Heilala competition, which sees the winners of various sponsored rounds competing in a prestigious grand final.
Tongans are especially proud of the beautiful heilala flower that unfolds in a pink, cross-like shape, and as part of the festival, they adorn themselves in heilala necklaces.
This week-long festival is held in the last week of September every year. Different activities are scheduled each day, including boat races around the island.
At the culmination of the week’s events a traditional Tongan Cultural Feast is held on Ano Beach, which usually turns into an all-night party.
Watch Humpback whales at the height of their migration period between July and September.
Every winter (from June to November) the waters around Tonga play host to Humpback whales, who arrive in the warm Tongan waters to mate and give birth at the end of their long migration from their summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic. This is arguably the best place in the South Pacific to see humpback whales.
Spot whales from the raised limestone cliffs at Toafa Lookout on west Vava’u, or join a registered whale watching operator to spot whales and even snorkel close to these amazing creatures and listen to their singing, which can reverberate through the water for kilometres.
Other species of whales and spinner dolphins can be seen around the protected Vava’u waters year round.
Latest update: Festivals & Events in Tonga: 18 November, 2018
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