Kamehameha Day is a significant holiday in Hawai’i that honors King Kamehameha the Great, the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. This day is not only a time to remember the achievements and legacy of King Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810, but also an opportunity to embrace and express the “Aloha Spirit”—a cultural ethos of love, compassion, and peace.

What Is King Kamehameha Day?

Every June 11, the vibrant Islands of Hawaii burst into a celebration for King Kamehameha Day, a beloved public holiday. This special day commemorates the extraordinary life of King Kamehameha I, affectionately known as Kamehameha the Great, who achieved the monumental task of uniting the Hawaiian Islands into a single kingdom in 1810. Before his visionary leadership, each island was governed by independent chiefs; Kamehameha’s reign ushered in an era of unity and strength.

The tradition began in 1871 when King Kamehameha V declared the first King Kamehameha Day to honor his illustrious grandfather. Since then, it has become an annual event of joy and festivity on June 11. In 2024, the celebration falls on a Tuesday, offering a midweek opportunity for everyone to partake in the festivities and embrace Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage.

The 2024 Nā Kamehameha Commemorative Pā‘ū Parade and Ho‘olaule‘a

Prepare for an unforgettable celebration! The 2024 Nā Kamehameha Commemorative Pā‘ū Parade and Ho‘olaule‘a will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2024. Due to the Lahaina fires, the event is now relocated to Central Maui. Envision the excitement as the parade proceeds along Ka‘ahumanu Avenue, culminating in a vibrant ho‘olaule‘a at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center.

“He Inoa No Kalani Nui Kamehameha” – Honor to Kamehameha the Great.

Everyone is encouraged to participate by submitting parade entries, whether it be a float, decorated vehicle, or marching unit. Floats may be self-propelled or towed, with decorated vehicles remaining recognizable. Marching units can include drill teams, flag units, cheer squads, and groups walking the route.

The parade commences from Maui Lani Parkway, just 7 miles from Maui Banyans, and proceeds down Ka‘ahumanu Avenue to Waiehu Beach Road. Do not miss this incredible event! Interested in participating? Submit your parade entry online by May 24, 2024. Once approved, we will provide all the necessary details for parade staging.

Who Was King Kamehameha?

King Kamehameha, the respected Hawaiian leader, ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1795 until his passing in 1819. Known as Kamehameha the Great, he pulled off the incredible feat of uniting the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom for the first time. Born on the island of Hawaii, he grew up to be a strong warrior and an inspiring leader.

In the late 18th century, Kamehameha set out on an exciting journey to bring the Hawaiian Islands together through a series of epic battles. His victory led to the creation of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810, where he crowned himself as ruler. Kamehameha became legendary for his smart military tactics, skillful diplomacy, and relentless efforts to modernize Hawaii’s economy and government.

Honoring a Hawaiian Hero

Originally, Hawaiians wanted to celebrate Lot Kapūaiwa’s (Kamehameha V) birthday on December 11 to honor his legacy. But in a humble move, Lot decided to honor his grandfather instead. He suggested celebrating on a different date, leading to the choice of June 11. So, the first Kamehameha Day happened on June 11, 1872.

Today, Kamehameha is seen as a hero in Hawaiian culture. You’ll find his image on the state flag and his name on schools, statues, and buildings all over Hawaii. King Kamehameha Day is a great time to reflect on his lasting impact and achievements.

What Do You Do on King Kamehameha Day?

King Kamehameha Day is an amazing chance to dive into the rich culture and traditions of Hawaii! Celebrating the legacy of King Kamehameha the Great, this day is bursting with vibrant activities that capture the joyful spirit of the holiday. Dive into the festivities with these five exciting ways to make the most of this lovely day.

Attend a Floral Parade

One of the most thrilling events on King Kamehameha Day is the vibrant floral parade. Imagine colorful floats adorned with stunning flowers, the melodic sounds of traditional Hawaiian music, and graceful hula dancers swaying to the rhythm. Marching bands and decorated vehicles fill the streets, creating a vibrant and joyful atmosphere ideal for a family vacation.

Cultural Performances

Throughout the day, vibrant cultural performances bring Hawaiian traditions to life. A perfect setting for a romantic getaway with graceful hula dances, enchanted by rhythmic chanting, and energized by live music. These captivating showcases do more than entertain—they immerse you in the rich tapestry of Hawaii’s cultural heritage.

Participate in Community Events

Communities across Hawaii come alive with special events like fairs, craft shows, and food festivals. Savor mouth-watering local cuisine, shop for unique handmade crafts, and dive into games and activities that delight all ages. These vibrant community events add an extra layer of fun and excitement to the celebrations!

Learn About Hawaiian History

King Kamehameha Day is a fantastic opportunity to dive into Hawaiian history and celebrate King Kamehameha’s remarkable contributions. Museums and cultural centers come alive with special exhibits and programs just for this day. By participating in these enriching activities, you gain a deeper appreciation for Hawaii’s past and the incredible legacy of King Kamehameha!

Experience the Spirit of Aloha

Above all, King Kamehameha Day is a vibrant celebration of the spirit of aloha, embodying love, peace, and compassion. Whether you’re enjoying a lively parade, visiting a historical site, or spending quality time with loved ones, take a moment to reflect on the unity and kindness that King Kamehameha’s legacy represents. This spirit of aloha is the heartbeat of the day’s festivities, bringing people together in harmony and joy.

Celebrate Kamehameha Day with Rentals Maui

Join the vibrant celebration of King Kamehameha Day with a commemorative parade and ho‘olaule‘a in Central Maui! Embrace the aloha spirit, honor one of Hawaii’s greatest historical figures, and create unforgettable memories while staying in Maui. Save the date—June 15, 2024—and be part of this exciting and significant event.