The Hawaiian Islands
December 2023
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Enriching Hawaiian Cultural Experiences

What makes Hawai‘i unique in all the world from other destinations isn’t just its natural beauty — which you’ve likely seen even if you’ve never visited — but also the deep history, traditions, skills, art, food, dance and language of its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Each of Hawai‘i’s eight islands has its own distinct identity, traditions, events, festivals and celebrations that continue to be perpetuated over multiple generations alongside tenets and practices shared throughout Hawaiian culture on all islands. Once in Hawai‘i, there are many ways for your clients to immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture. Below are a few Hawaiian cultural experiences and events your clients can enjoy throughout or at specific times of the year.

Located in the historic Albert Spencer Wilcox Building in Līhu‘e, the Kaua‘i Museum is a community pillar of cultural preservation housing and showcasing the rich history and artifacts of Kaua‘i and its neighbor island Ni‘ihau. The museum is also home to an array of exhibits sharing the stories of both islands, and offers knowledgeable docent-guided tours and a unique gift shop. Also on Kaua‘i, the Pā‘ula‘ula State Historical Site is home to the last remaining Russian-constructed fort in the Hawaiian Islands. The site’s Fort Elizabeth was built in 1816 after Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau ali‘i nui (paramount chief) Kaumuali‘i signed an agreement placing the Hawaiian Kingdom under the protection of Russia to ward off attacks from Kamehameha in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands under his rule. The site is open daily during daylight hours and entry is free.

Suggest your clients immerse in Hawai‘i’s royal history at ‘Iolani Palace in Downtown Honolulu. The only official royal residence in the United States, ‘Iolani Palace is a national historic landmark, with a tour transporting visitors back in time to an era when Hawaiian monarchs lived within its celebrated interiors. Tour reservations are required and are only purchasable online. Tell your clients visiting O‘ahu about the Kūhiō Beach Hula Show in Waikīkī, which shares Hawai‘i’s history and culture through song and dance. Guided by skilled Hawai‘i hālau hula (hula schools) and musicians, the beachfront show is free and open to the public. Clients can catch it every Tuesday and Saturday, and on the last Sunday of each month, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (weather permitting).

Held in the town of Hāna, the
East Maui Taro Festival is an annual celebration of kalo (taro), a staple crop of native Hawaiians and important to the culture. Traditionally held each April, the festival features live music and hula, arts and crafts, a farmers market, poi pounding demonstrations, lots of local-style eats and, of course, a variety of taro-based culinary creations to taste. You can also suggest your clients experience Hawaiian culture through the art of storytelling at Small Town * Big Art’s Hui Moʻolelo talk story program. The ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language) word mo‘olelo means “story.” Hosted in collaboration with the Maui Historical Society, the Hui Mo‘olelo program gathers a wide range of Hawai‘i storytelling and oral history experts to share stories embedded in Maui’s identity.

Island of Hawai‘i
The island of Hawaiʻi is home to several annual Hawaiian cultural festivals happening throughout the year. The Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Hawaiian Cultural Festival is a family-friendly day sharing the connections native Hawaiians have to the ʻāina (land). Held in July, it features live music, dance, crafts, food and more. In June, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park’s Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival honors the island’s native Hawaiian community and invites the public to celebrate and perpetuate traditional Hawaiian values and traditions. The North Kohala Kamehameha Day Celebration annually honors Hawaiian monarch Kamehameha I in his birthplace and on his birthday, June 11. Thousands gather annually for the celebration’s full day of festivities, which includes a royal procession, a town parade, a lei-draping ceremony for Kapa‘au town’s Kamehameha I statue, interactive educational exhibits, and more.

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What's New

Waimea Town Celebration

Waimea Town Celebration, one of Kauaʻi’s largest and longest-running festivals, returns in 2024, from February 17 through 25, in the historic west side town. Kauaʻi's proud history is celebrated over the event’s nine days with multiple cultural and recreational events, including theatre, music, dance, canoe races, a rodeo, fun runs and more. Waimea Town Celebration also raises money for several Kaua‘i-based beneficiaries such as the historic Waimea Theater and continued restoration at Pāʻulaʻula State Historic Site. Have clients visit for more information.

Upcoming Events

Kaua‘i Quilt Show ›
February 09 - 21, 2024

2024 Outrigger Big West Men's Volleyball Championship ›
January 18 - 22, 2024

2024 Sentry at the Plantation Course at Kapalua ›
January 04 - 07, 2024

Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival ›
February 03, 2024


Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to this month's graduates including Hawaii Destination Specialists and Island Specialists.

Brandy Seifert
Always Aloha Travel

Jen McVeay
Outside Agents

Joe Bedoni

Ryan Katz
Worldmark by Wyndham

The Hawaiian Islands #MālamaHawai‘i
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