5 Hawaii Festivals That Will Put You In the Aloha Spirit
Hawaii is renowned as the nation’s paradise for fun in the sun, but it’s their captivating blend of cultures and welcoming locals that make visitors say, "Whoa!"Get swept away by Hawaii’s infectious spirit at the many festivals held on the islands throughout the year. No matter which island you find yourself enjoying, chances are there’s a celebration nearby that’s ready to welcome you with open arms.
Prince Lot Hula Festival: July 15-16, 2017
No visit to Hawaii is complete without a little hula, and the Prince Lot Hula Festival on the island of Oahu aims to please. As the largest non-competitive hula festival of the year, this event gathers the most esteemed hula halau – hula dancing groups – to dazzle visitors and locals alike with exciting traditional performances. It also gives visitors a true taste of Hawaiian culture through food and activities.
Heiva I Kauai Iorana Tahiti: August 5-6, 2017
In honor of Hawaii’s citizens with Tahitian ancestry, Kauai hosts a unique celebration honoring this vibrant culture. Bring the entire family to enjoy the spirited dancing and drumming competitions, and even partake in the fun yourself at the amateur dance and coconut husking competitions. Be sure to attend the colorful and exciting opening ceremony, and try your hand at cultural workshops such as lei making. The festival is also a great opportunity to shop for unique souvenirs from 40+ vendors offering Tahitian crafts, food, jewelry, and clothing.
Okinawan Festival: September 2-3, 2017
The island of Oahu and its capital city Honolulu are a melting pot of international immigrants, and the Japanese culture is especially prevalent. In honor of its strong background of locals from the Okinawa region of Japan, Honolulu celebrates with the largest ethnic festival in the state of Hawaii. Representing Okinawan, Japanese, and Hawaiian cultures, the Okinawa Festival boasts a two-day event filled with performances, cuisine, and arts. Held in the large Cultural Tent, locals and visitors will find a variety of interactive activities. Learn the Okinawan language of Uchinaaguchi and about the genealogy of the area. Marvel at the many examples of ceramics, textiles, and bonsai plants. You can even have your picture taken in traditional Okinawan attire. This festival truly welcomes all to celebrate its enchanting culture.
Aloha Festivals: Throughout September
If you want to experience the ultimate celebration of Hawaiian culture, head to the annual Aloha Festivals held on every one of Hawaii’s main islands. Every year boasts a different theme, and the subject for 2017 is “Children Are Our Garland of Love.” Through music, dance, and history, thousands of volunteers showcase the unique traditions of Hawaii through flower parades, luaus, hula performances, and more. Check the Aloha Festival’s website to find a celebration on the island(s) you’ll be visiting.
Duke’s OceanFest: August 19-27, 2017
Hawaii’s culture has been greatly influenced by the surrounding Pacific Ocean. Not only has it had a huge impact on their customs and way of life, it’s also shaped their fun and recreation as well. In honor of Duke Kahanamoku – known as the father of modern surfing and greatest waterman who ever lived – Oahu’s legendary Waikiki Beach holds a week of events celebrating the legend’s favorite island sports. Locals and travelers alike are invited to participate in surfing competitions, paddleboard racing, and volleyball and surf polo tournaments. Even if you’re not the athletic type, the festival is a fun event to watch the many competitors and games, and you can also enjoy the Duke’s statue lei ceremony that brings this fun celebration to a rewarding end. Plus, all proceeds benefit the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation’s college scholarships and athletic grants program, making this festival fun for a great cause.
Hawaii knows how to throw an awesome celebration – everyone loves a luau! So when you’re visiting these awe-inspiring islands, be sure to attend a festival or two to celebrate the unique cultures that call the Aloha State home. Contact your Liberty Travel consultant today to start planning your whoa-worthy Hawaiian adventure, and get ready to party.