Lu is a meal prepared for special occasions and is the main household dish on Sundays. It consists of chopped meat mixed with coconut milk and onions wrapped in taro leaves which are then wrapped in banana leaves or foil and put in an umu (a traditional underground oven) to cook. There are many varieties of lu, including lu pulu, made with beef; lu sipi, made with lamb; and lu moa, made with chicken.
Ota ika is raw fish marinated in coconut milk and citrus juice, mixed together with finely cut vegetables, mainly tomatoes, capsicum and spring onions. Add a piece of yam, taro, sweet potatoes or manioke to your lu and ota ika to complete a tasty Tongan meal.
Otai is a refreshing fruit drink, popular in summer, that is a blend of water, shredded coconut meat, coconut milk and a variety of grated tropical fruit such as watermelon, mango, and pineapple. Sugar is also added to taste and otai is best served cold.
Activities and performances
Get a close-up look at Tonga’s renowned handicrafts, including bone carving, wood carving, basket making and fine weaving, using traditional techniques passed down through generations of craftspeople
Handmade woven mats and tapa are traditional Tongan gifts, and to this day, no Tongan is born, marries, or dies without being presented with mats and/or metres of tapa cloth
Finely woven ta’ovala garments (or the simplified kiekie for women) are particularly treasured and are handed down from generation to generation, some dating back hundreds of years