Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific. Kava is called “ava” in the their culture, which varies from other islands in the Pacific Islands. Kava has immense importance in Samoan culture and is consumed at most celebrations.

It is also consumed by leaders of the communities. In more recent times the effects of kava can be experienced by all villagers, but historically kava was reserved for a select few. For example, centuries ago, specific leaders would reserve kava for welcoming dignitaries, royalty and others of significant importance.

It would have been considered a great honor to be asked to attend a kava ceremony. Drinking kava in Samoan culture has spiritual meaning. The compounds within kava allow participants to feel calm and relaxed while also having a clear mind.

This may be one reason the people of Samoa are often called “the happy people”. Drinking kava in Samoa usually precedes and important event or celebration. It is often accompanied by chants and dancing among those at the event. These ceremonies can be to celebrate and welcome a visiting tribe, or for a wedding or even a funeral.

Source: Root of Happiness