Hawaiian Holidays & Celebrations
May Day is Lei Day, Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair, Prince Kuhio, Koloa Plantation Days, Kauai Pow-Wow, Kamehameha Day.
Koloa Plantation Days is an annual ten-day festival held in July in the historic town of Koloa on the south side of Kauai. This festival celebrates the town’s sugar plantation history and the cultural heritage of the island. The first plantation on Kauai was established in Koloa in 1835, and the town became the center of the island’s sugar industry. Koloa Plantation Days honor this history with a variety of events, including a parade, live music, food booths, artisans, and a rodeo.
One of the highlights of Koloa Plantation Days is the Historic Plantation Walk. This guided tour takes visitors through the historic sugar plantation town of Koloa to see the homes of plantation workers, the plantation store, and the irrigation systems that were used to water the crops. In the past, Koloa Plantation Days have also featured a film festival, keiki (children`s) games, and a vintage baseball game. There`s something for everyone at this festival, making it a favorite among both locals and visitors to the island.
Another popular event during Koloa Plantation Days is the rodeo. This rodeo showcases the island`s own cowboys and cowgirls as they compete in traditional rodeo events, including bull riding, barrel racing, and team roping. Food is also a highlight of the festival, with a variety of vendors selling their wares. From traditional Hawaiian fare to international cuisine, there`s something to satisfy every taste bud. Overall, Koloa Plantation Days is a vibrant celebration of Kauai`s rich history and diverse cultural heritage. Whether you’re interested in history, food, music, or rodeos, this festival has something to offer everyone.
Prince Kuhio Day, also known as Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole Day, is a statewide holiday in Hawaii that is celebrated annually on March 26th. This special day commemorates the life and legacy of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, a member of the Hawaiian royal family and a noted statesman and civic leader. Prince Kuhio, as he was called by many, was born on March 26, 1871, in the small town of Koloa on Kauai, the oldest of ten siblings. He was of mixed Hawaiian and European ancestry, with his family being descended from Hawaiian royalty.
Kuhio was a notable figure in Hawaiian politics and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly two decades, from 1903-1922, and played a key role in the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921. This important piece of legislation established the Hawaiian Homes Commission, which was responsible for granting land to Native Hawaiians for homesteading and farming purposes.
On Kauai, Prince Kuhio Day is celebrated with a variety of events, including hula performances, music concerts, and traditional Hawaiian crafts demonstrations. Many schools also hold special assemblies and activities to honor the memory of the prince and his legacy. Visitors to Kauai on Prince Kuhio Day can also participate in celebrations that take place across the island.
The annual Prince Kuhio Commemorative Parade and Ho’olaulea, held in the town of Waimea, is a popular event that features colorful floats, live music performances, and cultural demonstrations. Overall, Prince Kuhio Day is a time for Kauai residents and visitors alike to celebrate the life and legacy of one of Hawaii’s most beloved figures. Whether you`re attending a parade or simply taking a quiet moment to reflect on the prince`s contributions to Hawaii, this special day is a unique and meaningful experience for all who participate.
May Day, also known as Lei Day, celebrates the making and wearing of the flower lei. In 1929, Lei Day was officially recognized by the Queen as a holiday; however, the first celebration of this event was in the year 1927. The first celebration was held on Oahu at the Bank of Hawaii, then moved to the town hall, and finally moved to Kapi`olani Park. May Day is usually celebrated during the first week of May.
For elementary school kids in Hawaii, May Day is a day when parents come to see their children perform Hawaiian mele and songs from Polynesia, hula, and traditional chants. May Day also celebrates Hawaii`s rich history, teaching kids about the royal monarchy of the past with a selection of a Royal Court to represent the islands. The royal court procession has eight princesses representing different Hawaiian islands that are accompanied by a man carrying a kahili – a feathered staff used in ancient times as a symbol of royalty. Each island in Hawaii has a special flower lei and color that represents that specific island. The Lei Day princess will wear the color of the island she is representing and be draped in the proper accompanying lei. To be named May Day Queen is a great honor and arguably as big a deal in Hawaii as being named Homecoming Queen on the mainland.
The Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair is a much-loved annual event held over three days towards the end of August or the beginning of September in the beautiful setting of Vidinha Stadium in Lihue. This fair has been a highlight for residents and visitors to Kauai alike for many years and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the island`s vibrant agriculture industry and rural lifestyle. There is something for everyone at the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair.
One of the highlights is the Kauai coffee cupping competition where farmers get to showcase their best coffee and compete for the best in show award. With Kauai renowned for its gourmet coffee, this is a must-see event for coffee lovers. Other major attractions at the fair include an array of delicious local cuisine from some of the island`s best food vendors, as well as live music, hula, and traditional Hawaiian cultural activities such as poi pounding and lei-making demonstrations.
Visitors can also take a stroll through the bustling marketplace and browse through the unique and beautiful crafts, gifts, and traditional artwork on offer. One of the highlights that people look forward to every year is the 4-H livestock competition, where young farmers get to show off their animals and compete for awards. This is a great opportunity to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers on Kauai. Another popular attraction is the carnival area where you can find thrilling rides, carnival games, and prizes. The young and young-at-heart will find plenty to keep them entertained here.
The Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair is an event that brings the community together and is a testament to the vibrant agriculture industry on Kauai. The fair provides a platform for the local farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists to showcase their talents, and visitors get to experience firsthand the unique culture and hospitality of the island. It`s an event not to be missed by locals and tourists alike.
Location: Vidinha Stadium, Lihue (14.5 miles from Poipu)
The Kauai Pow Wow is an annual event that celebrates Native American culture and heritage and brings together people from all walks of life to learn, share, and connect. This event is typically held in the month of May or June and is a vibrant and colorful celebration of Native American history and traditions. This pow-wow event is a cultural exchange and aims to draw attention to the rich and varied traditions of Native American people. It is an opportunity to learn about the different tribes, to learn about the ceremonial dancing, singing, drumming, and storytelling that happen during pow-wows.
Visitors are able to learn about the history and customs of various tribes across North America and get a glimpse into the way of life of these fascinating cultures. Visitors to the Kauai Pow Wow can expect to see a wide range of activities, including traditional Native American dances, drumming, storytelling, crafts, and food. Experienced dancers adorned in stunning regalia showcase their moves with live performances that are sure to impress. Visitors can watch skilled craftsmen and women at work, creating traditional and contemporary items using traditional methods.
Traditional food is also on the menu, with visitors being treated to a range of ethnic dishes during the festivities. The Kauai Pow Wow brings together Native Americans, Hawaiians, and other visitors from across the world in celebration of diverse cultures and traditions. While the focus is on the First Peoples of North America, it is also a celebration of the diversity of different cultures that call Hawaii home. Overall, the Kauai Pow Wow is an unforgettable celebration of Native American heritage and culture and a truly unique experience for anyone looking to learn more about the rich history and traditions of the First Peoples of North America. It`s an event not to be missed.
Kamehameha Day is an important statewide holiday in Hawaii that is celebrated every year on June 11th. This day honors King Kamehameha I, who is known for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under one rule in the late 18th century. The day is especially significant on the island of Kauai, as this is where King Kamehameha I first landed when he set out to conquer the islands.
On Kauai, Kamehameha Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pride Visitors and island residents alike gather to pay their respects to the statue and to honor King Kamehameha I. Kauai’s Kamehameha Day ceremony typically includes the laying of lei at the statue`s base, as well as live music, hula dancing, and other cultural performances.
After the ceremony, the festivities continue with a hoolaulea, or block party, at Vidinha Stadium. This is an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come together and celebrate Hawaiian culture through food, music, and other activities. There are usually cultural demonstrations, arts and crafts displays, and delicious food stands offering everything from traditional Hawaiian dishes to all-American favorites. Kamehameha Day is also a time for traditional Hawaiian sports and games, such as outrigger canoe races and the always popular tug-of-war competition. Families come out to watch the events, cheer on their favorite teams, and participate in the games.
Overall, Kamehameha Day is a celebration of Hawaiian heritage, history, and culture. It is a time for all of Kauai to come together to remember King Kamehameha I and to appreciate the spirit of aloha that is so important to the island`s people. Visitors to Kauai during Kamehameha Day will have the opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of the island`s people, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the importance of Hawaiian traditions and customs.