The Gathering Place. With over 85% of the state’s population as well as being a quintessential tropical destination, Oahu is suitably nicknamed. And there’s no bigger gathering than at these annual summer festivals to honor past royalty and Hawaii’s unique way of life. Plan your next Hawaiian trip around one of these cultural celebrations and book a beachfront Oahu vacation rental now. You won’t want to miss this.
Lei Day Celebration
May 1, 2013
The lei, or flower garland, has been one of the most prominent and lasting symbols of Hawaii. Lei Day is a celebration to rejoice island culture, with Northern Hawaiians being a particular emphasis. Poet Dan Blanding conceived the holiday in 1927. Shortly thereafter it was declared an official holiday within the territory. The festivities are centered around Queen Kapiʻolani Park and contain exciting events such as classes on lei making, hula dance, and the crowning of the Lei Queen and her court.
King Kamehameha Floral Parade
June 11, 2013
This colorful event honors King Kamehameha, who unified the Hawaiian islands under his rule in 1795. Lasting from 10am to 4pm, the event begins in downtown Honolulu at ʻIolani Palace and ends at Queen Kapiʻolani Park. The parade hosts creatively decorated floats and performances by the local marching bands, including the esteemed Royal Hawaiian Band. A highlight of the parade is the traditional paʻu riders, which includes a queen, princesses representing all the major islands, and royal attendants. After the floral parade is a Hoʻolauleʻa, a celebratory block party with food and entertainment. The Bishop Museum hosts several cultural exhibitions at the park.
Prince Lot Hula Festival
July 20, 2013
Once a forbidden dance, this festival pays tribute to Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who revived hula in the Moanalua district. The event is held at the stunning Moanalua Gardens, which previously had been a botanical garden. Many of the rare plants still remain. Dancers perform both modern and ancient hulas as well as hula and chant on one of the last remaining hula mounds in Hawaii. The top hula schools are featured during a special opening show. Grab some food, sit beneath the shady monkeypod trees, and let the spirit of Hawaii wash over you.