King Kamehameha Day June 11, is a public holiday in Hawaii. On this day in June, Hawaiians honor King Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who founded the United Kingdom of Hawai’i. The kingdom consisting of the Hawaiian Islands Ni’ihau , Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lāna’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui and Hawai’i.
King Kamehameha Day – King Kamehameha statue
The statue of King Kamehameha is world famous. She stands in front of Ali’iolani Hale in Downtown Honolulu and can be seen quite often in the series Hawaii 5’0 * , which is supposed to have its headquarters in this building.
In 1883 the statue of King Kamehameha in Honolulu was consecrated by King David Kalākaua, but it was a duplicate. The original statue was temporarily lost at sea. When it was found, however, it was not exchanged. The original is now in North Kohala on the Big Island. Other replicas can be found in the Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC and in Hilo on the Big Island. There are a total of 6 statues that can be found worldwide.
King Kamehameha I
King Kamehameha I was known as a fearless warrior, a wise diplomat, and a highly respected leader. Kamehameha the Great, as he is also often called, managed to unite the islands of Hawaii in 1810. After almost endless conflicts with one another, they were united into one kingdom through him.
According to an ancient Hawaiian legend, the king’s story was foretold. When he was born in 1753, the appearance of a comet sweeping across the Hawaiian sky heralded a great future for this boy. All over the islands this special annual holiday is celebrated with beautiful traditions including adorning the statues with lei, parades, festivals and of course hula.
King Kamehameha Day
Decorating with leis
A ceremony will take place in front of the Ali’olani Hale in downtown Honolulu that day. Beautiful lei made of plumeria adorn the large statue of the king after the ceremony.
During the ceremony, hundreds of plumerias and other flowers are lined up by members of the royal society and many volunteers. Each lei is at least about 10 meters long. The fresh lei are placed in the arms of the Honolulu city workers, who drive a cart up to the statue’s head. You carefully place the lei on the statue of King Kamehameha. They hang over the king’s arms, but never over the cloak.
O’ahu is celebrated in downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, which is where the King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade takes place. This magnificent parade is a glimpse into old Hawaii, with breathtaking colors, flowers and lots of people.
The flower parade for King Kamehameha
It starts at 9 a.m. every year on King Kamehameha Day at Iolani Palace and heads towards Waikiki. The parade consists of floats, carriages and vehicles that are lavishly decorated with flowers. At around 11 a.m., the parade arrives at Queen Kap’olani Park in Waikiki, its destination. There you will be received with a big celebration. There is live entertainment (until 4 p.m.), good food and great performances, especially a hula competition.