Anniversary Of The Coronation Of King Tupou I

In Tonga, there’s a holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the coronation of King Tupou I. Also known simply as King Tupou Day, this holiday is observed on the Monday nearest to December 4th. If the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, then it is observed the previous Monday.

If the holiday falls on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, then it’s moved to the following Monday. Regardless of when it’s observed, the intent behind this holiday is to mark the beginning of the reign of King Tupou I on December 4th, 1845, and the start of Tonga as a modern country that was unified under the Tu’i Kanokupolu dynasty.

The History of the Anniversary of the Coronation of King Tupou I

King Tupou I was born on December 4th, 1797, and was originally known as Tāufaʻāhau I. When he was baptized in 1831, he adopted the name Siaosi — the Tongan version of the Anglo-Saxon name George. This was done in honor of King George III of the United Kingdom.

After the consolidation of Tonga’s tribes, he was declared King of Tonga. His legacy was to spread Christianity across the Pacific and to help the country avoid domination by European powers. Although Tonga maintained a close relationship with Great Britain throughout his rule, he never allowed the relationship to become slanted towards the British, and he was able to keep Tonga’s sovereignty. He lived until the age of 96 years old when he died of a cold in 1893.

Observing the Anniversary of the Coronation of King Tupou I

One of the main events that occur on this holiday is the religious and patriotic concerts that take place at Queen Salote College—an all-girls school named after Queen Sālote Tupou III by King Tupou IV. Of course, while that’s the main event, smaller events do happen all across the country. And because this holiday is a public one, it’s a day when many schools, businesses, and non-essential government offices are closed, and it’s a non-working day.

Where is it celebrated?
Tonga (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 2 Monday
Next year (2025)
December 1 Monday
Last year (2023)
December 4 Monday