Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day 2018 and 2019
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day celebrates the birthday and life of this elder statesman of Hawaii. In 2018, the holiday falls on a Monday creating a long weekend.
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No stops are pulled in bringing to the forefront the one man responsible for Hawaii being both what it symbolizes and is today in the minds of residents and visitors alike.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianole, royal prince of the House of Kalakaua, was to Hawaii its elder statesman, royal monarch and royal ambassador to European heads of states and to Japan as well. His one focus was on leaving Hawaiian culture as a remaining cultural place mark in history. Later on, his legacy went on to leave Hawaii as a recognized political entity in later territorial questions before the U.S. congress.
The celebration of his birthday was established in 1949 by the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii as he authored the first Hawaii statehood bill in 1919. Winning passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act, he further created the Hawaiian Homes Commission after designating nearly 200,000 acres for Hawaiian homesteaders.
So great were his achievements for and in Hawaii, and on the global scene, that he remains the second of two U.S. holidays dedicated to crown heads of states, King Kamehameha Day being the first. Throughout his life, he worked to promote native Hawaiian culture and practices in both the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
Cultural Events and Festivities
Normally celebrated on his actual birth date, March 26th, there may be a shift of celebrations depending on whether the birthday falls on weekdays or not. Many schools and colleges close as does the public transportation system in Honolulu. Generally, many people take off from work on this anxiously awaited date.
While celebrated on all the major islands, festive parties and traditional luaus also make up the mainstay of celebrations on the other islands as well. The traditional Hawaiian feast known as the luau is usually accompanied by sometimes wild, live music and dancing, as it beacons to visitors and residents alike with such delicious and tantalizing food such aspoi, the traditional kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia and beer.
Other Attractions and Events on Other Islands
Usually held at major four and five-star class hotels in the area, the hula kahiko performances lure many visitors to the Prince Kuhio celebration. Later in the evening, soft, melodious Hawaiian music with slack-key guitars, falsetto singing concerts and other traditional island musical events may be found in many resorts or hotels spas.
Never to be forgotten, there are many Prince Kuhio Commemorative ceremonies held throughout the island in the parks of Poipu. Followed by craft fairs, cultural demonstrations and live music events, there is no shortage of activities for those joining in the festivities.
Parades and services at the Prince’s final resting place are both celebrated on this island with a traditional Hoolaulea. Presented by Prince Kuhio civic organizations, services at Prince Kuhio’s final resting place, Oahu’s Royal Mausoleum at Maunaala and the beautifully poignant lei draping of the Waikiki’s Prince Kuhio statue are followed by a Hawaiian arts and crafts display at Kapiolani Park.
A Celebration that Spans a Two-Week Period
In addition to the actual Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day, there are other events that span a two-week period and are located in Poipu, Eleele, Lihue and Wailua. Interactive educational sessions about Hawaiian cultural values, Makauwahi Cave tours at Makauwahi Reserve and vast collections of indigenous and endemic plant species also proudly form part of the celebrations.
Not to be left undone, more delectable luaus, a rodeo, an outrigger canoe race, lomilomi massage sessions, salt-making exhibits, stone carving, coconut and alu hala weaving classes among others, plus samplings of the rich, local foods, all add to the tropical allure of the celebrations.
Truly a born son of the Islands, this man’s birthday is an event to remember by both residents and visitors alike to Hawaii. Dedicating his life to the future interests and well-being of Hawaiians, this birthday is not one to be forgotten by those experiencing the Islands for the first time or for return visits.