Kamehameha Celebration

Kamehameha (King) Celebration

Second Monday in June
A state holiday in Hawaii to celebrate the reign of the island state's first king, this celebration is the only public holiday in the United States that honors royalty.
King Kamehameha I, known as "the Great" (1758?-1819), was the son of a high chief. At his birth it was prophesied that he would defeat all his rivals. He originally was named Paiea, which means "soft-shelled crab." When he grew to manhood he took the name Kamehameha, meaning "the very lonely one" or "the one set apart." By 1810 he had united all the Hawaiian islands and until his death was the undisputed ruler. He promulgated the mamalahoe kanawai, or "law of the splintered paddle," which protected the common people from the brutality of powerful chiefs, and he outlawed human sacrifice. He made a fortune for his people with a government monopoly on the sandalwood trade. After his death, he was succeeded by his son, Kamehameha II.
Celebrations extend over much of the month of June. Leis (Hawaiian floral necklaces) are draped on the king's statue across from Iolani Palace, formerly the home of Hawaii's monarchs and now the state capitol in Honolulu, and there is another lei-draping at Kapaau, North Kohala. A floral parade travels from downtown Honolulu to Waikiki; it features a young man who depicts the king wearing a replica of the golden amo-feather cloak and Grecian-style helmet (the originals are kept in Honolulu's Bernice P. Bishop Museum and are displayed on this day). The parade also includes floats and princesses on horseback wearing the pa'u, satin riding dresses in the color of their island home. Other events include demonstrations of arts and crafts, a competition of chants and hulas, and a luau, or Hawaiian cookout.
CONTACTS:
King Kamehameha Celebration Commission
355 N. King St.
Honolulu, HI 96817
808-586-0333; fax: 808-586-0335
www.state.hi.us
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540
202-707-5000; fax: 202-707-8366
www.loc.gov
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 438
AnnivHol-2000, p. 99
DictDays-1988, p. 63
GdUSFest-1984, p. 44
References in periodicals archive ?
com)-- Hawaii's history and culture take the spotlight at the King Kamehameha Celebration Parade in Kailua-Kona this June 14, 2014, shared Harold Clarke of the premier Big Island luxury real estate website, LuxuryBigIsland.
To learn more about the Kamehameha Celebration Parade, get in touch with Barbara Nobriga at 322-9944, email bnobriga@hawaiiantel.